Thursday, December 4, 2014

Poem Comparison Essay

Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein & Summons by Robert Francis

Poem is a literary form of expression where the author utilizes words to evoke certain feelings and attitudes towards the audience. In the poems "Where The Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein and "Summons" by Robert Francis, the reader feels similar emotions, but those emotions are instilled in different ways by the diverse use of literary techniques. Imagery and symbolism are two key techniques that distinguish these poem's similar messages. Both poems contain a peaceful tone speaking of an uplifting force. The first poem, "Where the Sidewalk Ends" connects to "Summons" by the extensive imagery the author uses to depict images of a motivational scene. 

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" portrays an image of a place the narrator describes "where the grass grows soft and white" leaving behind a "place where the smoke blows black." The narrator serves as the motivational force, leading the audience to a favorable destination. Symbolically, this represents the same place where one chapter in an individual's life ends and another begins. This new chapter is approached by a life altering event experienced by the person. The motivation that aided in the overcoming of that event is represented by the narrator.

On the other hand, the narrator in the poem "Summons" plays the role as the person in need of the motivation. The narrator speaks to the audience with a desirous tone almost beseeching to "keep [them] from going to sleep too soon" and make them wonder why they ever went to sleep at all. The imagery described can be interpreted as the narrator's desire to be educated on seeing the value in life. The title "Summons" exemplifies the narrator asking the force to call upon them to continue their life on a higher path than they've been traveling on. Summon represents the idea better than any other word because it has a more authoritative connotation. Symbolically, this means the narrator needs to be called upon in order to reach its full potential. Once summoned, the narrator is able to start a new path in their journey of life, more meaningful and valuable.

Despite the fact that each poem symbolizes a motivational message, they are different in their uses of symbolism and imagery. Achieved through imagery, "Where the Sidewalk Ends" symbolizes the uplifting force calling upon the audience to a greater place. Whereas "Summons" utilizes imagery to relate to the audience on a personal level by symbolizing the audience themselves when in need of a summoner to a higher purpose. The diverse techniques used to evoke emotions succeeded in the similar motivational tone and message.

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