What poetic devices does Johnson Agard use in "The Clown's Wife"?

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"The Clown's Wife" is a description of the public and private life of a clown and the contrasts between them. It begins with the public. On stage, the clown is a king on a throne—though it is already implied that this is the reverse of his private persona: "On stage, he's a different person." The last line of the stanza, "But at home you should hear him moan," uses alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia to mimic the sound of moaning.

The figurative language ("a king on a throne") continues in the next stanza with "the world on his shoulder." The singular "shoulder" makes him appear hunched and unbalanced. The irony that the clown makes others laugh but is unhappy himself is compounded when his wife has to perform the sort of tricks one would expect from a clown to try to cheer him up. However, the final uneven couplet (providing some closure and resolution through rhyme, though not through scansion) suggests that her efforts are not altogether in vain.

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The clown uses apostrophe —not to be...

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