The Meaning And Use Of Writing Elements In Titling Poems

1183 words - 5 pages

The Meaning and Use of Writing Elements in Titling Poems
Titling pieces of literature can be considered an art in itself. Titles in poetry, no matter the length, use different poetic writing elements to add clarity, value, or meaning to the poem whether the title guides the reader to understand or pushes the reader to search for a deeper meaning in the poem. Poems such as “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop, “The Lamb” by William Blake, and “Unholy Sonnet” by Mark Jarmon are examples of poems that provide explanations of the author’s motivation behind titling their poems. Writing elements in poetry such as symbolism, tone, imagery, and similes provide ...view middle of the document...

Irony can be defined as “a technique that reveals a discrepancy between what appears to be and what is actually true” (Meyer 707). The title of the poem “Unholy Sonnet” by Mark Jarmon has an ironic tone that allows the reader to form questions and have a predetermined feeling about the poem before reading it in its entirety. Sonnets were originally love poems that had a problem and then a solution. In “Unholy Sonnet” Jarmon says, “In this communal stab at coming clean,/There is one stubborn remnant of your cares Intact./There is still murder in your heart”(Jarmon 12-15). This statement is ironic because after prayer and confession there still is no peace in one’s heart. Certain actions cannot be forgiven or freed from one’s conscious. The poem starts by speaking of communion and prayer and then takes a turn to murder. The irony in this sonnet is also shown in the title. The title, “Unholy Sonnet”, leads the reader to believe that the unexpected or abnormal is going to occur such as murder.
Along with ironic, an almost sarcastic and annoyed tone is apparent in the title “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. The use of poor English in the title introduces the overall attitude of the poem. Imagery and other literary devices such as alliteration and word play allow Brooks to portray the negative consequences that come from the troubled lifestyles of corrupted youth. The subtitle, “THE POOL PLAYERS/SEVEN AT THE GODLEN SHOVEL” not only introduces the reader to an almost dreary, scary setting, the words “the pool players” also leads the reader to stereotype these people to have gang-like characteristics. Throughout the poem, the seven pool players’ drop out of school “lurk late” (3) and “sing sin”(5). “We Real Cool” begins with the line “We Real Cool”(1) and ends with the line “We Die Soon”(8). In today’s society, being uneducated and sinful is not considered cool and can lead to one’s destruction in society or even result in death. The tone, imagery, alliteration, and wordplay in the subtitle and the entirety of the poem adds meaning and clarification to the title of the poem, “We Real Cool”.
The writing elements of imagery and similes require the reader to look deeper into the meaning of the words chosen to describe or compare different objects. The poem “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop uses similes to relate the struggles of beauty and life to a fish using imagery so the reader can picture the fish just...

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