Personification in Poetry

September 2004
Literary Cavalcade;Sep2004, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p38
"The Death of a Toad," by Richard Wilbur. How does the rhyme scheme affect the sound and meaning of the poem. Wilbur won the Pulitzer Prize for his book "Things of This World" and the Bollingen Prize for "Walking to Sleep." The poem describes stages of the toad's death, giving equal importance to each stage through equal stanzas: three stanzas of six lines each. By personifying the toad and by alluding to a time when amphibians were the dominant life form on this planet, the speaker is also making a social commentary. The poem suggests that humans are in a period where they are the" rulers" of their surroundings, but like the toad, humans will eventually lose their power and could even become so insignificant as to get caught in a power mower. INSET: JODI-ANN FRANCIS UNZIPS A VEILED CRITICISM OF HUMANS IN NATURE.


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