The Frog and the Nightingale

by Vikram Seth

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What is the style and diction of the poem "The Frog and the Nightingale"?

Expert Answers

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"The Frog and the Nightingale" is written as a third person narrative, meaning that the voice telling the story is looking on and relating the action without any involvement. Readers are taken through the series of events as they happen, as if they were watching in real time.

The diction, or word choice for the poem, is clear and simple and very expressive. The description of the frog's voice and the reaction to it is vividly portrayed: "the crass cacophony blared out...Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks, insults or complaints or bricks stilled the frog's determination..."

There is no question what the croaks that went "awn and awn and awn" sounded like, or how the listeners felt about it! Vikram Seth is also showing his humor, spelling the rhyming word "on" creatively so that it looks as well as sounds like the rhyme with "dawn." In the same way, Seth uses very picturesque and understandable language to describe the nightingale's song and the reaction to it by the other creatures in the expanding audience and by the frog.

The rhythmic pattern and rhyme is steady throughout, even as the exact number of syllables may vary from line to line.

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