Constantly Risking Absurdity By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Simile: A comparison of two things using the words “as” or “like”.Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two unlikely things that actually have something in common.Extended metaphor: when recurring metaphors are made throughout the poem.
Constantly risking absurdity and deathwhenever he performs above the heads of his audience
The poet like an acrobat Climbs on the rime To a high wire of his own makingAnd balancing on eyebeams Above a sea of faces
SIMILE:“the poet like an acrobat”• Establishes who is being compared.“rime”• Def: the frost formed on a cold object.• Acrobat could slip and fall to death.Rhyme.• Def: correspondence of the sounds between words or the ending of words.• If a poet messes up his rhyme scheme, could be seen as a failure.
“to a high wire of his own making”• Again makes the connection between the acrobat and the poet.• They each have their own tools of/for performing
paces his way to the other side of the dayperforming entrechats and sleight of-foot-tricks and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking any thing for what it may not befor he’s the super realist who must perforce perceive taut truth
“all without mistaking”• Acrobat cannot make any mistakes or he will fall of his rope, to death or injury.• Poet cannot make mistakes or he faces ridicule from his readers.
Taut: stretched or pulled tightly, having no give or slack. “Taut truth”• Acrobat needs his rope to be taut or he will fall.• The poet is not allowed any slack with his writing, his poems need to be exact, or poems would be hazy and weak.
before the taking of each stance or stepin his supposed advance toward that still higher perchwhere beauty stands and waits with gravity to start her death-defying leap
BEAUTY:• A point of understanding between poet and reader/ acrobat and audience. The message being sent is the same message being understood.• Beauty of the acrobats assistant waiting to be caught = Poet see’s beauty and needs to capture it in a poem.
DEATH:• Acrobat:He falls from his tight rope, or he fails to catch his assistant (“Beauty”)• Poet:Death is figurative. Audience failing to understand his poem.
and hea little charleychaplin manwho may or may not catchher fair eternal formspreadeagled in the empty airof existence
“charleychaplin man”• Refers to Charlie Chaplin because of his silence. A reader/audience member must interpret the performer.• Charlie Chaplin used as an adjective to describe the acrobat.• Charlie Chaplin was famous and well-liked for what he did. Implies that the Poet/Acrobat are liked for what they do.
SUMMARY:• The poem is an extended metaphor due to the recurring metaphors throughout the poem.• Poetry writing is much like acrobatics. risk-taking and fear of failure• Public risk, other being able to see them fail.• Taking chances for fulfilment and joy.
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