Comparative Analysis paper - Poetry


            Poetry is a literary piece which is considered creative artwork - Comparative Analysis paper - Poetry introduction. Poets may use descriptive or contrasting words in attempt to project a literal meaning for the readers. However, every word that the authors utilize in their poem may have its connotation for a deeper meaning. The use of a powerful and imaginative language is a good poetic technique that is evident in a good literary piece. With the right words and techniques like rhythm, rhyme, line breaks, metaphor, simile, symbols, connotation, sound, and figurative language, a composition of a creative and dynamic poem would be possible.

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Comparative Analysis Paper – Poetry


            Poetry is best understood as the “language within a language” (Kurland, 2000, n.p.). According to a French poet named Paul Valery, poetry was regarded as that in the aforementioned statement, for it literally aims to inform or impart a message to its audience. In addition, the poetry has an underlying message behind the words used in the poem, which symbolizes or represents an idea, thought, or feeling. This paper would focus on the significance of language and content in poetry as shown in Dabid Budbill’s “Old Man Pike,” Patricia Dobler’s “The Rope,” and William Smith’s “The Closing of the Rodeo.” Moreover, this paper would also identify the specific poetic techniques used by poets to come up with a creative, descriptive, and imagination-stimulating literary piece, as illustrated in the aforementioned poems of these three authors.

Language and Content in Poetry

            Language and content are both vital elements in poetry. Language pertains to the emphasis of words used in the poem that signifies for a specific thing, person, or place. Content, on the other hand, is the descriptive narration of events, persons, or emotions that is conveyed through the use of descriptive words. Poets shape their language to communicate their selected workplace themes. In the poem Old Man Pike by David Budbill for example, descriptive adjectives and words like old, singing, alone, and pleasure were used to describe the feeling of enjoyment that the Old Man Pike feels. The language used was therefore descriptive to project the meaning that the author wants to convey. The content of this poem is grounded on the pleasure that an old man enjoys in walking through the mountains everyday of his life. Another example is the poem The Rope by Patricia Dobler. The authors used contradicting words like rise and fall, break and stapled to give the readers an idea of the movement of a rope. However, the content of the poem and the message underlying in the poem is the struggle of parents to hold on their marriage or relationship for the sake of their children. As the title of the poem, “The Rope” was the focus of the descriptive language to give emphasis to the object used as a representation of the bond or the relationship of the man and woman. The following lines describe the central thought: “Both afraid to break or let go / years spilled on the kitchen table, Picked over like beans or old bills,”  “New piled on old, each year the pattern brighter, costlier / The kids he would say, if it weren’t for” and lastly, “She’s hush him and promise / To smile, saying this is what I want, this is all I ever wanted” (Dobler, n.d., n.p.).  The author in the poem shaped her language by using a metaphor (where rope signifies “relationship” or “bond”) to make the theme of the poem sound less dramatic and lonesome. William Smith also used the poetic technique of rhythm in his work The Closing of the Rodeo as the last words of the poem have a pattern of similar sound which is evident in these lines: “The lariat snaps; the cowboy rolls / His pack, and mounts and rides away; Back to the land the cowboy goes” (Smith, n.d., n.p.). Further, the poem’s content simply relays the message that a cowboy riding on a horse is in a hurry to get away from the place where there is an approaching rainfall and thunder.


            The poets in the three poems were able to impart the message they want to convey to the readers in such a creative and descriptive manner. The poet’s choices of metaphor fit the description of the “thing” it represents specifically in the poem “The Rope.” It is very magical to be able to uncover the connotation of the words used in the sample poem, for the author was able to hide the meaning of the poem. Subtle words that are not dramatic although dynamic were used in the three poems to stimulate the reader’s mind. At first glance, a poem may appear as simple and meaningless if taken literally; but if one rereads and analyzes it, the true message and meaning of the metaphor may be understood.


Budbill, D. (n.d.). Old Man Pike.

Dobler, P. (n.d.). The Rope.

Kurland, D. J. (2000). How the Language Really Works: The Fundamentals of Critical Reading

and Effective Writing. Reading Poetry: Language. Retrieved December 10, 2008 from

Smith, W. (n.d.). The Closing of the Rodeo.


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