A report analyzing the poetic devices used in the poem “Oranges”
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In the poem “Oranges”, the author uses certain literary devices to get the poems point across better. One of these literary devices is free verse. A free verse poem is a poem that does not have a fixed line length, stanza form, rhyme scheme, or meter. For example in verses one through four, the first time I walked with a girl, I was twelve, cold, and weighted down with two oranges in my pocket, there is no fixed line length, stanza form, rhyme scheme, or meter. The poet used a free verse in this poem to keep it in a casual mood. The poem is not about some great moment that would need fancy meters and rhyme schemes to express the occasion. It is a casual moment between a girl and a boy expressed in a casual way. The boy in the poem is telling the reader outright, because the poet wrote it the way someone would talk. The poem is a simple record of something that happened that day. So the poet wrote it in a simple free verse way.
Another poetic device the poet uses in “Oranges” is Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning. The poet uses onomatopoeia to help describe the scene and let the reader experience the scene more. For example in verses five through seven, December, frost cracking beneath my steps, my breath, before me, then gone, cracking is an onomatopoeia. Cracking shows that the frost was splitting, but it also imitates the sound the frost makes when it does fracture. Another example is in verse 44, a few cars hissing past. Hissing shows that the cars are driving by fast, but it also suggests the sound the cars make while driving by fast. These onomatopoeias bring out the full flavor of a word and make the actions more dramatic. Writing that the cars are hissing by add a lot more interest to the poem and excitement then is the cars were just riving by fast. While reading this the reader can almost hear the cars whizzing past.
An additional poetic device the poet uses in “Oranges” is the point of view. Point of view is the position from which something is observed and considered. The point of view in this poem is first person point of view. This way the reader sees thing from the boy’s point of view. This emphasizes the overall tone of the poem, which is casual. Because the boy is talking to the reader directly, the reader sees everything as the boy sees it. The boy notices that the girl is pretty and special but does not make a bug deal about it which sets the poem in that mood. It is just another day with a girl. If the poem was written form, the girl’s point of view things might be different. To the girl it may seem more special when the boy buys her the piece of chocolate. The poet picked the buy because the poet wanted a casual mood.
A different poetic device the poet uses in “Oranges” is simile. Simile is a straightforward comparison using like or as. Similes heighten ordinary speech in a poem so it is not just like a story. For example in verses 25 to 26, I turned to the candles tiered like bleachers, or in verses 45 to 46, for hanging like old coats between the trees, have similes. The similes make a relationship and let the reader use his or her imagination. It makes objects that might seem old and everyday to something unfamiliar, strange, and glamorous. For example, everyone had seen fog before, but when the poet describes fog as old coats hanging between trees, the reader imagines giant coats hanging between trees and think that they do look like fog. The fog becomes an adventure, and is not just a humdrum everyday object anymore. It adds to the overall excitement to the poem.
One more poetic device the poet uses in “Oranges” is imagery. Imagery is when the poet makes descriptions utilizing the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Imagery is used to set the overall tome of the poem and help the reader experience whatever is in the poem better. The poet uses imagery in “Oranges” to show mental pictures of the girl. For example in verses 14 to 15, face bright with rouge, and in verses 28 to 30, light in her eyes, a smile starting at the corners of her mouth. The poet is conveying the picture of the girl without directly saying what the image is. This style of writing adds a unique flair to the poem. The imagery also shows a cheery tine to the poem because all the images of the girl show her smiling and happy. The author picked these specific images to show this happiness in the poem.
The poetic devices of imagery, simile, point of view, onomatopoeia, and free verse enhance the poem “Oranges” and make it better for the reader to follow along and experience the poem to its fullest extant. Without these literary devices, the poem would be bleak, and not have the certain flavor of casual joy “Oranges” has.