What are some poetic devices for the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling? Please identify and provide examples.
Rudyard Kipling's "If" employs many different devices. Three of those devices include iambic pentameter, paradox, and didacticism. The poem has four octaves written in iambic pentameter. (Incidentally, Shakespeare's sonnets are famous for using iambic pentameter, too.) The use of this meter provides a rhythm that is closely linked to the way people speak the English language. As a result, it can bring out a sing-songy rhythm that is pleasing to read aloud or hear performed. One of the best lines that demonstrate iambic pentameter's unique rhythm is as follows:
"And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise."
Next, examples of life's paradoxes are used to make the point that we may encounter contradictory extremes in life; however, we shouldn't get caught up in them. For example, the following excerpt explains how to deal with life after a big win and a subsequent severe loss:
"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 620 words.)
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