What is an example of a literary device used in the poem "This Day in History" by Bert Almon?

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Bert Almon uses the literary device of imagery when he writes in this poem that:

the sun rose blue over Great Britain.

Imagery is description that uses the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. In this case, Almon illustrates the interconnectedness of events across the globe. It is forest fires in the west of Canada that cause the sun to look blue in Great Britain, a nation on the other side of the world. "Blue" is a visual image and a startling color to use to describe the sun—which we usually associate with colors such as yellow, orange, and red. Poetic images often challenge our perception in this way.

"Blue" also can act as a pun in this context. A pun is a word with a double meaning. Not only might the sun appear blue because of the haze produced half a world away by fires, the word "blue" can also mean to be sad or depressed; thus, the sun can also be personified (assigned human attributes) as sad because of the fires.

When Almon writes:

whose labour I lift on my fork

he uses the literary device of alliteration. Alliteration occurs when two words in close proximity begin with the same consonant. In this case, "labour" and "lift" begin with "l," creating a sense of rhythm as we read the line.

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An example of a literary device used in the poem is irony.

Irony is when something unexpected happens, or something is said that is the opposite of what you’d expect.  In this case, it is ironic that the sunsets were beautiful throughout the world because of the tragedy of the fire in Canada.

I know the dust of

exploding Krakatoa

gave the whole world

a year of fine sunsets.

The irony is that the destruction of the fire created the beauty of the sunset.  Beauty from destruction is unexpected.  The poem relies on the idea that the fire evokes these two different emotions of awe and sorrow.

By using this connection, the poet helps us feel intense emotion.  The beauty of the sunset juxtaposed with the tragedy of the fire reinforces the idea that everything affects everything else.

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