Essay on Poetry and Persona

Submitted By floppy_potato
Words: 759
Pages: 4

Poetry has the ability to give the responder different ideas and emotions by showing the poets imagination. There are many types of poems such as: Free verse, Acrostic, Limerick, Sonnet, and Haiku etc. The two poems I have chosen for my essay is Stealing by ‘Carol-Ann Duffy’ and We real cool by ‘Gwendolyn Brooks.’ Carol-Ann Duffy is a poet and playwright. She writes about oppression, gender and violence, in an accessible language that has made them popular in schools. Gwendolyn Brooks was an American poet who won many awards between 1950 and 1985. She started writing poetry when she was 15 and by the time she was 16 she had written and published over 75 poems. By the time she was 17 she had started submitting her work to the Chicago Defender and African-American newspaper. Many of her poems were then published in the newspaper and by 1943 she had won her first award.

Stealing by ‘Carol-Ann Duffy’ is a poem about a persona who is obsessed with stealing and has no control. The persona talks about how the persona wishes for control and order in their life. This poem has many metaphorical aspects. The poet’s ideas are conveyed with many poetic devices such as internal rhyme and symbolism. Symbolism is shown in stanza 1 where he say’s “ The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman. Midnight. He looked magnificent; a tall, white mute beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate with a mind as cold as the slice of ice within my own brain.” This is where he is using a Snowman as a symbol for a companion or friend and is describing the snowman like it is their self. The persona wants a companion to love, but the persona is emotionless. The symbolism in this poem gives effect by showing that the persona wants a companion and can use beautiful poetic language but is also uneducated, emotionless and bored with their life. They long for meaning in their life without the ability to make it happen. There is a sense of disconnection demonstrated by a lack of adjectives; written in a list like style devoid of any emotion. The internal rhyme in this poem is things like “I started with the head, better off dead than giving in,” This an example of internal rhyming as head rhymes with dead, but they are both in the middle of sentences. There is also another example in stanza 2 where Duffy say’s “hugged to my chest, a fierce chill piercing my gut, part of the thrill was knowing that children would cry in the morning. Life’s tough.” The persona is showing their excitement in having the power to make others suffer, because the persona has only suffered a tough life.
We real cool by ‘Gwendolyn Brooks’ sums up the reality that many youths faced if they chose to leave school. This poem was written in 1959 and at this time there was segregation of black and white people in America and if you were told