A Silent Killer Poem Analysis

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Pages: 4

“A Silent Killer,” is a found poem I crafted using lines from Robert Frost’s “Out, Out—” and Robin Becker’s “The Children’s Concert” about the tragedy of child neglect and the malignant effects this can have on children—even as drastic as suicide. Both of the source poems in this work paralleled each other in their use of narrative form and sound imagery, as well as in subject matter; both works center on a pair of siblings, one of whom dies tragically in childhood. Through the use of metonymy, repetition, and dramatic contrast, I intended for my found poem to portray the intense themes of abandonment, death, and guilt present in my source poems to speak to the issue of suicide, prompting similar feelings of reflection in the viewer.
In the
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A guilt is seen in the tones of both of my source poems, in the forms of the wistful shame in the middle sections of “Out, Out—” and the guilt the speaker in “Children’s Concert” feels towards his cruel actions towards his sister in light of her suicide. In my poem, the speaker describes himself as having “snarled and rattled” (l. 4) to his sister, using diction of negative connotation and harsh assonance to imply that both his words were harsh and unpleasant, and he therefore regrets them. The repetition of “I” at the ends of lines 3, 9, and 15, demonstrates ownership of his actions, further exemplifying his feelings of guilt. In addition, the repeated use of enjambment gives the speaker a tone of desperation that intensifies throughout the poem. The intensified guilt of the speaker culminates in the last stanza of the poem, when he imagines himself as the “the watcher at [his sister’s pulse]” when she dies. Previous to this moment, the speaker had expressed regret for his actions; now, the speaker also regrets his inaction: his inability to protect and save his sister. At the end of the poem, realizes “that childhood could be so final a thing,” expressing resigned guilt in the loss of innocence in both himself and his sister, prompting the audience to experience similar guilt. The intense emotions of both speaker and audience are critical in conveying the underlying message of the poem: a warning against suicide inducing