Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “constantly Risking Absurdity” is an exciting yet confusing poem, but it is one of the best poems that portrays style and use of metaphor in poetry. The poem entirely makes use of metaphor by comparing the process of writing a poem to an acrobat…
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The poem has a complex structure, though exciting as the reader follows the author through the swinging motions that the poet has chosen to present the poem similar to the swinging of an acrobat walking on a thin rope. Therefore, the poet utilizes imagery and diction in comparing the process of writing a poem to the performance of an acrobat in front of a large crowd, and risks death if he falls from the wire.
The author reveals to the audience that he compares writing a poem to an acrobat in line 6; “the poet like and acrobat.” This line forms the main theme of the poem and is platform on which the poem is hinged. The author does not only compare the poet to an acrobat, but also explains that the two share the same predicament, hence the use of “like and” in line 6. From this line, the author introduces the public to the death or survival of the poem, which the author compares to the life or death of an acrobat. In other words, just as the acrobat risks death by hanging dangerously on a thin wire, so does the poet risk death by facing the scrutiny of people. If the poem does not impress the public, the audience will certainly trash it and that will be the end of the poem. The author in this case warns that the work of poets faces death if they fail to impress and exceed the expectations of the audience, just as the acrobat makes the audience watch in suspense as he do his gymnastics.
Similar to the acrobat’s wire, the poet has to have “a high wire of his own” (line 8). Just as an acrobat has to use theatrics and creativity to impress the crowd and showcase his mystery while walking on the thin wire, a poet has to use similar theatrics to impress the audience. In fact, the author inline 14 states that “slight-of-foot and other high theatrics,” all which the poet has to use to impress the audience. The poet in this poem uses such theatrics by presenting the poem in swinging style, which
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“Constantly Risking Absurdity Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1637642-constantly-risking-absurdity.
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