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Poetry Critique Essay

888 words - 4 pages

The Shining Streets of London - Poem Critique

‘The Shining Streets of London’ by Alfred Noyes is an emotional and extremely visual poem from the view point of the author, about an evening in the city. With the authors specific use of sibilance, semantic fields, figurative language and imagery the poem tells a story of beauty within such a dark and flooded scene.

The use of imagery is powerful, Noyes sets the scene from the first line, ‘Now, in the twilight, after rain’, this instantly portrays an image of an evening time where there has been a downpour. The use of sibilance adds to the effect of the weather, both in the title and the content, ‘Shining Streets’, ‘skies’, ‘sooty’ ...view middle of the document...

The use of unusual colloquialisms is interesting, all adding to the effect of the image the poet is trying to portray, ‘coloured gloom’, shadowy minster’, blazing white’.

Furthermore, there are semantic fields of wetness and darkness used to keep the imagery towards night and the impact that the weather has had on the streets, ‘wet black streets’, ‘gloom’, darkness into darkness go’. Although, in contrast to this Noyes also uses semantic fields of colour and lightness in most stanzas, ‘gold and amethyst’, ‘cherry or daffodil’. I think he has set a dark, gloomy image as that is how most citizens of London would see the city in that instance. Moreover, Noyes adds colour into the poem throughout, which symbolises how he sees the city. He ensures all the negative points he makes are outweighed with a metaphor, again creating a radiant image.

The figurative language is used throughout the poem and makes up a large proportion of the content. The use of words within the language shows Noyes’ real opinion of London. He uses phrases like ‘...like burning tulips bloom’ and ‘Our sooty town like Venice lies.’, a beautiful image is seen with using just two of the similes within this poem. in addition to this, the use of metaphors creates a powerful imagination for the reader.

Furthermore, the last stanza is written in a different style, this is the first introduction to dialogue. In addition to this, the letters are italic, implying it is being sung. The diction within the last four lines is chosen well, it seems it is aimed at another person, possibly a wife, ‘O love, what need have...

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