How Does Speech Therapy Work For A 3 Year Old Analysis of Philip Levine’s Poem – "Starlight"

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Analysis of Philip Levine’s Poem – "Starlight"

In an introduction, I will identify and analyze various components of the “starlight” of Philip Levine, such as, for example, speaker; situation; utterance; imagery; figures of speech, and other elements of poetry. Throughout this article the previous elements will be meticulously explained.

The speaker of the poem I will refer to as “he” because the poet is male. The progression of the poem is very climactic. In other words, it means a turning point like most works. For example, line #21, which illustrates where “father and son” meet eye to eye (thus, allowing the son to bask in the glow of the starlight with his “head up in the air”). In addition, he continued to ask his father the question his father had asked him earlier in the poem: “Are you happy?” The speaker’s point of view shows the reflections of himself as was an image of his father; growing up like his father, and “the father like son” syndrome which, in a subtle way, is illustrated by the following lines: “I am four years old and growing tired (line 3) – compared to -. . . but I can smell the weariness that hangs on his breath.” (lines 16-17) Moreover, the latter part of the poem also confirms this point.

Of course, the point of view – as indicated above – introduces the implied attitude of the speaker to his view of the poem, thus setting the tone of the poem which is very somber and gray (which is in direct irony with its title, “Starlight”) with the use of key words, such as, “growing tired; cigarette; moon riding low over the old neighborhood; alone; fat and suffocated; the weariness that hangs on his breath; autumn, and a boy slept never to wake up in. that world again .”

The structure of the poem is very interesting. Well, it seems to be written in closed form after seeing it, at first. However, when it is looked at more closely, it can be noticed that the initial letters of the lines are not capitals; only where a new sentence begins. Therefore, I assumed that its structure is presented in an open form. Furthermore, there are neither visible breaks nor stanzas in the poem. I wonder if the form represents “a tall, thin child (line 28) or a sober, gray tower of Babel (in its abortive attempt) to proclaim itself to be there among the stars (line 21)?”

The theme of this poem is one of comparison (both emotionally and physically) between speaker and his father as was illustrated in the above paragraphs – framed by its content – for example, lines 8 and 22. In these lines, the same question was done of both parties (which give a sublime reference to their emotional state). Moreover, lines 3 and 17 (“fatigue”) give a subliminal reference to their physical well-being. In interpretation, these cases represent the speaker (a boy) “growing” into his father.

The situation seems to be set in a small town. This statement can be asserted by line 7 – “…low above the old neighborhood….” In addition, the location of this poem is thought to be in Northeast America because of key words, such as, autumn; summer moon, and porch (usually, porch – outside the US). Moreover, I deduced this particular setting because of the stimulus I received from reading the poem, which is of course very subjective. In addition, the experiences that are reflected in this poem allow me to draw on my own experiences as I draw a mental picture of what is happening in this poem. Thus, my response to the poem is very subjective to its classical sense of writing. Moreover, my reaction to the dynamic is a bit muted even though the dynamic of the poem has an equal pace – tempo style.

Regarding the writing style/choice of the poems, specifically its diction – the vocabulary used in this poem is very concrete. Excluding, of course, the last six lines of the poem and the quote, “Are you happy?” These quotes are abstract and are essentially the engine that drives the poem. For example, these quotes are found at the beginning and end of the poem. Likewise, the poem is detonation oriented except for the above quotations which are covered with connotation. The meanings I have interpreted in reference to the above quotations (respectively) are set forth in the following sentences. The first quote deals with the speaker’s happiness in his state compared to his father’s happiness in his state (for example, the father said “yes” to the question while the speaker hesitated to answer). The last six lines deal with the transition (reflection) of the son growing up to be like his father in the future (“autumn … until the boy slept never to wake in that world again”).

Besides the “father-son relationship” was the centerpiece of this poem. This literary work is very rich in images that capture my imagination. As I pointed out before, key words like: “the glow of his cigarette, redder than the summer moon riding” – lines # 5 – 6 – put me in the active landscape of the poem. It pains me to see the poem as seeing it as a film reel. I must say that his poem is visual (lines no. 5 – 6), auditory (line no. 22), olfactory (line no. 25), gustatory (lines no. 16 – 17) and synesthetic ( line no. 16 – 17).

In addition, the figures of speech (specifically the metaphors) are also added to this poem. For example, “…smell the weariness that hangs on his breath.” – lines # 5 – 6. On the other hand, there is limited use of similes and other figures of speech in this poem.

On the other hand, several elements of poetry are well represented. For example, “autumn” – line number 30 – symbolizes adulthood going to old age. The syntax does not contain many rhymes (sounds) although rhythm and meter are maintained throughout the poem. Also, all the irony of the poem projects the gloom of the experience into the background of the ‘starry night’ – hence, the title: “Starlight”.

In conclusion, this poem was excellently written. The 1st person skillfully places me in the poem, thus making me an active participant in the poem. The poem makes interesting reading. I was exposed to new insights from the speaker’s point of view.

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