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What kind of poetic devices are in "We Are the World"?

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Poetic devices used in "We Are the World" include rhyme, alliteration, allusion, repetition, and onomatopoeia. In stanza 1, the second line ends with "call," rhyming with the last word of the sixth line, "all." Another rhyme follows an a-b pattern using the words "all" and "fall." An example of alliteration is "...someone, somewhere soon." There is allusion to the New Testament, sequential repetition of words (well and yeah), and minimal use of words beginning with harsh guttural sounds or letters.

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Poetic devices used in the lyrics of the song "We Are the World" include rhyme scheme although the rhyme pattern is somewhat irregular, alliteration, literary allusion, repetition, and onomatopoeia.

In the first stanza, the rhyme scheme has the second line, which ends with the word "call," rhyming with the sixth line, which ends with the word "all." Further on in the song, there is another rhyme and this one follows an ab rhyming pattern:

When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall

The lyrics also use the poetic device of alliteration. For example, in the second stanza, third line the words "... someone, somewhere soon make a change." The repeated use of the letter s sequentially creates a repetitive pattern that underscores the rhythm of these words. The song also uses alliteration with "greatest gift."

The song also mentions that "God has shown us by turning stones to bread," which is a literary allusion to the New Testament. In Matthew 4:3, the devil approaches Jesus during his fast and tries to tempt him to break the fast, saying that he should turn stones to bread.

The song is also full of repetition. First, the chorus is repeated often and is, in fact, the final stanzas of the song repeated several times over. There is also use of repetition within the chorus. For example, four of the six lines begin with the word "we." The first line also uses alliteration of sorts in the repetition of the "w" sound, with "we" are the "world." Moreover, the repetition of the chorus, or refrain, is itself a poetic device, repeating the same words throughout the song to emphasize their importance.

There is also repetition of the same word in sequence, with "Well, well, well, well let us realize" and "When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah."

The use of onomatopoeia can be seen throughout the song, as if to parallel the message of the song, there are very few instances of harsh or guttural sounds. For most of the stanzas, the words themselves are lyrical, with many beginning with "S" or "W." There are almost no instance of words beginning with the harsher letter "G," except for greatest gift and the allusions to God.

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The lyrics of Michael Jackson's 1985 anthem to benefit African famine relief contain a few devices common in the composition of poetry.

The song is sung from a first-person point of view using the plural pronoun "we" to build unity between the song and its audience. Because the intended audience was global, Jackson's intention was to bring humanity together in a shared responsibility to the people of Africa.

Jackson makes a Biblical allusion in the phrase "turning stones to bread." According to the book of Matthew:

after Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights, the tempter challenged him to turn stones to bread.

Jesus refused, telling the tempter that man shall not live on bread alone, but on the word of God.

There is a repeating chorus in the song that appears for the first time after the first two verses. It is:

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me

And finally, there may be an allusion to Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in the phrase "when you're down and out" in the 4th verse.

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The lyrics of "We Are the World" by Michael Jackson offer a variety of poetic devices for its listeners. Three primary devices that have an impact on the persuasive nature of the song are repetition, point of view, and metaphor.

Jackson uses repetition heavily throughout the song. Not only is the chorus repeated many times, but the phrase "we are the" is repeated three times in the chorus, which places emphasis on the message that he aims to transmit.

The repeated use of "we" also illustrates another poetic device—point of view. Listeners can assume that Jackson uses "we," the collective pronoun, to inspire a sense of togetherness. The listeners are included in the point of view of the narrator, which helps Jackson to call listeners to action.

Another poetic device that appears consistently throughout "We Are the World" is metaphor. In the metaphor, he compares the listeners to the world and to children. He sings,

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, So let's start giving

While Jackson is not literally insinuating that the collective "we" are "children," he is using metaphor as a device to persuade the listener to feel responsibility not only for themselves, but also for the greater good—that is, the world and the children.

While "We Are the World" utilizes many poetic devices, the aforementioned three devices are prominent throughout the song.

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As with any poem that is set to music, the beat of the music quickly becomes one of the most notable devices. There are five emphasized beats in each line of "We Are the World," connecting the shorter lines at the end of the chorus to keep the beat going.

There comes a time when we heed a cer-tain call /
When the world must come to-geth-er as one (rest) /
There are peo-ple dy-ing And its time to lend a hand /

to life The great-est gift of all (rest) /

Repetition, as in the chorus of the song, is another common technique used in poetry.

While most of the song is written in free verse, the third stanza does incorporate rhyme, with the first two lines rhyming and the third and fourth lines rhyming.

The direct, simple, heartfelt language is the best kind of poetry - effective in communicating its message clearly and in a way that is immediately understood by the audience.

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