Poetry is the most compressed form of literature, which should be read slowly and savored attentively. Poets employ different poetic techniques to convey their ideas, opinions, and express their feelings. Some poems can be understood easily while others seam vague. But whatever they are, they all contain some common elements of poetry such as theme, figurative language, and tone, etc. Constantly risking absurdity and death and betting on the muse are two poems which are written by two different poets. By comparing and contrasting these two poems, the full beauty of the poems can be greatly appreciated and their theme can be deeply explored.
Constantly risking absurdity and death by Lawrence Ferlinghetti talks about what a poet is. The author compares poet to acrobat to reveal the difficulty and complexity of being a poet, because sometimes the poet has to take the risk of failure (another form of death) and of being absurdity just like the acrobat. In the poem, the author does not describe the difficulty and complexity of being a poet directly.
Instead, he uses numerous vivid languages to describe what the acrobats do to convey the underlying theme. performs above the heads of his audience, the poet like an acrobat climbs on rime to a high wireK on eyebeams above a sea of faces. The author uses metaphor, and even makes up new word sleight-of-foot in the later sentence. These descriptions bring the readers to the atmosphere of nervousness of watching the acrobats performance in circus. In the poem, there are many verbs and adjectives are used to depict the performance of the acrobats. For example, climbs, paces, perceive, stands, waits, catch, high, taut, death-defying, charleychaplin, and spreadeagled, etc.
By using these words, the author provides different moving pictures to the readers. Obviously, the tone of the poem is reflective. At the first glance, it seems no connection between the poet and the acrobat. Is not the poet supposed to be romantic? Or sentimental? Or cultivated? But why does the author connect the poet with the acrobat? After reading it several times, people will find that the underlying message is very clear. It is not unusual if you hear someone says: I dont understand what this poem is talking about. People may think the poet is ridiculous. This is the risk of being a poet.
People may not acknowledge the poets idea; may even laugh about it, just like they laugh about the acrobat. Therefore, the author uses the image of the acrobat to convey his feelings about being a poet. Similarly, betting on the muse, by Charles Bukowski, is a poem about the poet as well. Although it has the same subject as the first poem, it focuses on the different aspect of being a poet. The author believes that being a poet is much better than being an athlete because the poet can be a lifelong career and the longer one is engaged in literary work, the better one can be.
Like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski uses numerous vivid languages to describe the athletes lives of their later years to set off the advantages of being a poet. The diction in this poem is relatively simple and direct compare to the first poem. However, by using many repetitions, the author portrays two completely opposite images. One is a vigorous, complacent young athlete and the other one is a low-spirited, lonely old man.
For instance, scrapbook with the yellowing pages. there you are, smiling; there you are, victorious; there you are, young. d to be replaced by others, to no longer hear the cheers and the plaudits, to no longer be recognized, just to be an old man like other old men. These descriptions of the young athlete and the old man form such a sharp contrast so that the people cannot help sighing after reading. Then, in the last stanza of the poem, the author uses repetition again and metaphor to depict how wonderful to be a poet. you can keep your hustle going until the last minute of the last day. you can keep getting better instead of worse, you can still keep hitting them over the wall.
The authors consummate writing skill enables him to convey his opinion clearly and vividly to the readers. In comparison with the first poem, the tone of this poem is light and amusing as well as reflective. By using terse yet light languages to describe the changes of the things around the athletes, the author delineates the cruel reality that the athletes have to face after their brilliant victory. the crowd has other heroes. the crowd never dies, never grow old, but the crowd often forgets. now the telephone doesnt ring, the young girls are gone, the party is over. These simple and light words are the truest portrayal of the reality.
The tone is also reflective because the poem leaves people the space of reflection. The brilliance of an athletes victory is relatively short, but the achievement (works of literature) of a great poet is everlasting. Both of the poems deal with the same subject V poet. However, they have quiet different themes. Both of the poets use figurative language to portray vivid images to convey their theme. The tone of the first poem is reflective. In contrast, the second one is light and amusing as well as reflective. No matter how similar or how different they are, they both are excellent and worthy of great appreciation.