Poems employ various techniques to relay their messages to the audience. A poet would be significantly keen on the word choice to convey the intended meanings as well as focus on the arrangement of the words to bring out these interpretations. Mainly, these tools allow the poet to express moods and attitudes in the poems to reinforce the construction of the given meanings. Sadness, anger, and happiness are some of these moods. The tools poets usually use comprise meter, stylistic devices, as well as the language that involves the choice and arrangement of words. In the book The Breathing House by Marcielle Brandler, anger and happiness are differently expressed in the poems through using language and meter. An analysis of happy poems “Two Beauties” and “The Breathing House” on the one side, and angry ones “Black Stage”, “Black School” and “Prague” on the other side, shows that the two categories employ meter differently, but with equal use of poetic language thereby reinforcing the moods.
Meter is used in the happy poems while lacking in the angry ones. Meter in happy poems uses profound rhythms that increase the repetitions expressing the same mood to the audience (Hughes 84). As a result, the pleasurable feelings are conveyed to the reader. For instance, the poem “Tow Beauties” employ sound patterns through consonance to stress the main words that the poet wishes to emphasize to the readers. For instance, the poem has the line “from rushes or rock” to stress the consonant sound “r” for “rushes” and for “rock” towards improving the musical sounds of the poem (Brandler 13). The same situation occurs in the poem “The Breathing House”, whereby assonance is used to strengthen the feeling of unison through sounds. The poem has, for example, the line “like a pasture of mastered plants” whereby the vowel sound “a” is repeated severally for emphasizing the pattern (Brandler 11). Furthermore, the poem uses rhymes at the end of the verses in pairs in the last stanza by utilizing “woodwork” and “struck” in the third and fourth lines of the second and the last stanza, and “grass” and “undress” in the following pair of lines (Brandler 11). As a result of this meter, happiness is extended to the reader (Fabb and Halle 7). In other words, the musical sounds in the happy poems add to the mood of good moments just as tunes would have added in a person.
On the contrary, meter in the poems that extend the mood of anger is less pronounced and may be lacking at all in many instances. Lack of meter in a poem contributes to the lack of resonance between the expectations of the reader and the events in it (Hughes 87). As a result, one is most likely to feel displeasure and hatred instead of love or happiness. In other words, the lack of meter in a poem reinforces the mood of anger in the reader by virtue of the absence of the order. For instance, the angry poem “Black School” uses no meter at all, but employs sarcasm instead by using words with direct opposite meaning in the sequence as “smile bitterly” (Brandler 10). Similarly, the poem “Black Stage” lacks meter and replaces it with descriptive words to show anger such as “unspoken fires” (Brandler 5). Indeed, even the other angry poem “Prague” lacks meter thereby demonstrates the level of displeasure that the person has towards the situation being described (Brandler 3). Therefore, the absence of sound patterns in the angry poems helps to express the sadness and displeasure in the persons extended to the reader as a created mood.
Unlike meter, poetic language is extensively employed in both angry and happy poems to ascribe the same mood to the audience. Poems have to be concise and economic on the use of words; therefore, the choice of words proves vital for the poet (Kiho 106; Plooy 162). As a result, angry poems tend to have vivid descriptions that are highly compressed through poorer choice of words that carry heavy meanings to communicate a position of the poet. For instance, the choice of words in the angry poem “Black School” is placed as sarcasm for proper interpretation of that hatred and sadness that a person has towards the nun (Brandler 10). The children are described in this poem to be merely pretending to like the bully nun when they are actually resentful towards her. Also, poems use carefully chosen adjectives and verbs that help to create fear and sadness, thereby, express anger (Kiho 112; Plooy 158). For instance, the poem “Black Stage” uses the word “banished” to refer to the disownment of the person’s half-brother from the society (Brandler 3). Therefore, the reader acquires the angry mood through empathy with the person. Similarly, the happy poems, such as “Two Beauties” and “The Breathing House” apply the poetic language tools to express the same mood among the members of the audience. For example, the poem “The Breathing House” elaborates the experience in the persona’s dream using the phrase “…to immerse me into the anonymity of nighttime…” (Brandler 11). Therefore, the poet succeeds in using poetic language in various ways to achieve the intended goal of extending the poems’ mood to the audience.
In conclusion, poetic language and meter are useful tools to poets in enabling them to extend moods to the audience. However, their presence or absence is also significant. For instance, meter exists in happy poems to reinforce the mood while it is absent in the angry ones for the same reason. Nevertheless, poetic language finds presence useful in either type of a poem by mood. Ultimately, poetic language and meter help poets to communicate their points effectively to their audiences.
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