The Importance Of Elements In Poetry

1082 words - 5 pages

In Regina Barreca’s Poem, “Nighttime Fires”, she uses many elements of poetry to help portray the theme of the poem. Poetry is all about the way it is written. Poetry is short, so it tends to be much more complex than a novel. Poetry uses many elements to help the reader fully understand what the poet’s overall goal is. It is easy for the reader’s to enjoy this poem because it is easy to understand, and it can paint a great picture in the readers mind about the poem, using such elements. “Nighttime Fires” uses many elements such as: Tone, Image, and Figures of Speech.
The first Element is the Tone. The tone of a poem is very important. It sets the mood for the reader. In “Nighttime Fires” the reader can come to realize that the tone may be glum. If the reader would first take the word nighttime and we can figure out that it is not going to be a bright sunny happy poem, because night gives a short of dark and dreary mood to it. Next we have Fires; fires are usually not good, unless planned. When we see the word fire, we can tell that it may bright up this night. Once we get passed the title, Barreca opens up with: “…we drove to see nighttime fires. Piled seven of us, all pajamas and running noses…drove fast toward smoke (Barreca).” The tone is now officially set. They are piled into a car in their pajamas, so we know this was not planned. The tone seems sort of rushed now. Not only are they all crammed into the car, but they are then speeding down the road to get to this fire. Next we have “he woke my mother, and she pushed and shoved us all into waking (Barreca).” Again, it is becoming clear this was not planned. Now, saying this tone is rushed, does not mean it is frightening. None of the words seem to show signs of fear, it all seems like it has happened before. Almost like a routine that they are not sure when will happen. Barreca then goes on to say “we longed for the burnt wood and smell of flames (Barreca).” This event must happen all the time. Barreca says things like: “If there were a Cadillac in the driveway, my father smiled a smile from a secret brittle heart (Barreca).” If there is smiling involved, it cannot be that bad. When the poem finally finishes with: “My mother watched my father, not the house. She was Happy only when we were ready to go, when it was finally over (Barreca).” The mother gives off the vibe that she is not real fond of this event, but we can tell that she loves him, because she wakes everyone up to come all this way just to see him smile.
The next element used in this poem is Image. When a writer or poet uses imagery it makes the story or poem so much better. Instead of saying “My dad is always up past midnight” Barreca says “…awake past midnight, he read old newspapers with no news, tried crosswords until he split the pencil between his teeth, mad (Barreca).” Her choice of wording actually paints...

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