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Analisys Of The Poem Travelling Through The Dark By William Stafford

677 words - 3 pages

William Stafford, Travelling through the dark – Poem analisys

The lines of this poem involve variations of rhythm, carefully combining more formal elements with the relaxed diction of free verse. Stafford also flirts with rhyme by employing near rhymes, half rhymes, and off rhymes, particularly relying on assonance or consonance: “road” and “dead”; “killing” and “belly”; “waiting” and “hesitated”; “engine” and “listen”; “swerving” and “river”. The partial and imperfect rhymes hide the poem’s deliberate construction enough that the language does not appear forced or artificial, with the narrative sounding frank and unfiltered. Internal rhymes or echoing sounds are also embedded in the ...view middle of the document...

This technique is repeated when he touches the deer, “her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting, / alive, still, never to be born.”, revealing a change from life to death, from an awareness of the situation to an understanding of the consequences. There is also a shift from the emotional to the rational caused by physical contact in the line “My fingers touching her side brought me to reason.”
The need to make a decision the speaker finds himself confronted with leaves no pleasant choice as his options are as narrow as the road he travels in. In the first stanza he already acknowledges that he must clear the route, “to swerve might make more dead”, however, in the final lines of the closing couplet, he returns to words originally used in the opening stanza that add to his pattern of contemplation: “I thought hard for us all—my swerving—, / then pushed her over the edge into the river.” Ironically, even though in literature a river symbolizes life, it also symbolizes the inevitable...

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