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Poems that Speak of Men's Minds - Essay Example

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Name Professor Date Poems that Speak of Men’s Minds Men usually love ball games. In speaking of ball games, one cannot deny the tendency to think that most men are very fond of ball games. However, this statement can be wrong when taking the side of two American poets who express indifferences towards ball games…
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Poems that Speak of Mens Minds
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Download file to see previous pages Based on the titles alone, the two poems obviously talk about ball games. However, Updike is more specific in referring to basketball as he identifies the central character in his poem as a former basketball player. In contrast, Williams talks about the attitude of an audience at a ball game. Thus, although the two poems deal with the same subject matter, each has its own focus and each provides a different view of the human psyche. Comparing the two poems, Updike’s is easier to understand because of its style and language. Conversely, Williams’s use of metaphors makes the poem more difficult to comprehend yet more challenging to analyze. Updike is noted for the use of narration in his poems. Just like in his other poems, Updike uses a narrative element to express his view about ball games. The poem appears in free verse, making it easier to read and appear more realistic. The narrative element of the poem features the main character named Flick who used to be a basketball player in high school. Like any story, the characterization is developed, giving the audience enough idea about Flick. The lines, “He was good: in fact, the best. In ’46/He bucketed three hundred ninety points” (14-15) prove the success of Flick as a basketball player. ...
The persona claims that he has seen Flick set the records. This style makes the author appear as if he had known Flick since they were young, hence establishing the credibility of the writer in writing about the character and further persuading the audience to share the thoughts and feelings he has regarding the subject. Some lines of the poem talk about the achievements of Flick. These lines render a positive image of the character. However, the said lines are only used to emphasize the point of the author that there is no future in playing basketball or that a person’s popularity and skills in the field of sports will not make him win in life. To impart this message, Updike narrates how Flick ends up in blue-collared jobs working as a gas station boy, repairman, and diner despite his overwhelming basketball records. Updike does not actually elaborate on his personal views regarding the fate of Flick. Nevertheless, he uses irony and understatement to imply the bad luck that Flick ends up with. To illustrate his view, Updike uses understatement, thus: “He never learned a trade, he just sells gas, checks oil, and changes flats…” (Updike 19-20). These lines do not exactly move the audience to sympathize with Flick. Rather, they present a sad ending that the author may have observed in people like Flick, those who were once popular in school but ended up unsuccessful because they do not have other skills or expertise aside from playing ball games. Updike elaborates his view by using imagery such as “Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—“(Updike 13) “without a head at all” (Updike 18). This is an indirect comparison between Flick and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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