This poem is about a deaf child and the things that he will be unable to do because of his hearing problem. James Wright writes this poem in first person and the narrator seems to be an observant or friend of the deaf child or his family or possibly a close family member. The setting seems to be maybe the nursing room that the child is in or possibly the narrator is just alone and thinking about the life the deaf child will undergo. There is not a specific time but the poem seems to act like the deaf child has just been born and has just been diagnosed with his hearing problem.
The title of this poem really helps the reader to understand the age of the child and it casts a dark cloud over the reader making them automatically know that the poem will have a sad subject. The words choice of this poem really brings the poem into an even more specific yet understandable state. Like when the author uses words like “angel”, “bird” and “sagging” it really shows more metaphoric language then just going straight to the point.
This poem used a lot of symbolism with many things like birds but it also had similes like “Or a bobwhite whistles invisibly and flutes like an angel off in the shade? ” These kinds of similes really put an image in the head of the ready to really get them thinking about what is going on in this poem. There was also a lot of metaphors that help to also contribute to the images that the reader read and got in there heads about this poem. There was a lot of imagery also that really went specific and showed exactly what point the author was trying to make.
There was not too much irony in this poem but there were a few examples here and there like when the author said “to serve his needs” this did not completely agree with its surface meaning because it would usually be thought to be saying something about the deaf child getting what he wants but now it is used to almost be an antonym and be more of a sarcastic statement. This poem has a sad sort of degrading tone to it that also makes the reader think there is no way out and the child is stuck with being deaf and this takes hope out of the equation all together.