What are some literary devices used in the poem "Thumbprint" by Eve Merriam?
Eve Merriam uses sound devices, puns, and metaphors in her poem "Thumbprint."
The sound devices she uses include alliteration, consonance, assonance, and rhyme. In the beginning of the poem, the words "whorls, whirls, and wheels" are strongly alliterative with the /wh/ sound, but they also have consonance with the /ls/ sounds that occur at the ends of the words. "Flesh" and "feelings" are also alliterative. Another example of consonance is the /mp/ sound in the words "impress, implant." The words "contain" and "same" are an example of assonance, or repetition of vowel sounds. Although the poem doesn't contain a regular rhyme scheme, there are some lines that have end rhyme. "Alone" and "own," "key" and "singularity," and "sum" and "become" are the strongest rhymes. Finally, although alliteration usually occurs in words that are in close proximity, the use of the word "world" in the penultimate line creates pleasant alliterative symmetry with "whorls" and "whirls" in the second line.
There are a number of puns, or examples of wordplay, in the poem. Lines 5 and 6 present two different meanings of the word "own." The thumb is said to be a "universe key" and a "singularity." "Singularity" means uniqueness, but it also can refer to matter within a black hole, giving it a double meaning by its proximity to the word "universe." Likewise the two meanings of "impress" are implied at the same time: to evoke admiration and to make a mark. And the word "mark" has a dual meaning: First, it refers to having a noticeable effect; second, it means to leave a physical sign.
The poem contains a number of metaphors, such as "universe key" and...
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