Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing

Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing

Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing

Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing

Excerpt

Although writers experiment with language in all kinds of literary works, poets in particular recognize the power of a figure of speech to take readers beyond the literal meaning of a word. For this reason, figures of speech— expressions that use words to achieve effects beyond the power of ordinary language—are more prominent in poetry than in other kinds of writing. For example, the sonnet above compares a loved one to a summer’s day in order to make the point that, unlike the fleeting summer, the loved one will— within the poem—remain forever young. But this sonnet goes beyond the obvious equation (loved one = summer’s day): the speaker’s assertion that his loved one will live forever in his poem actually says more about his confidence in his own talent and reputation (and about the power of language) than about the loved one’s beauty.

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