This essay discusses the comparison between Whitman’s “To a locomotive winter and Dickson’s I like to see it lap the miles. To a locomotive in winter is a poem that describes the beauty and strength of a particular train known by Waltman. The paper mainly centers on the use of imagery…
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The entire poem is presented in a way that it acts as a symbol of the then-impressive technological advancement in the United States. Dickson’s poem talks of the progress of a certain strange creature that winds itself on the way through a hilly landscape. In Waltman’s poem, the persona displays to the readers how good-working and strong the locomotive engine is. The second line describes how the locomotive drives through the bad weather. “Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow the winter day declining (line 2).” The two words, ‘Snow’ and ‘Now’ rhyme and act as the emphasis that the winter is still in existence. The term, “Declining” acts as an indication that the will be over, thus something new will be introduced. Something new, in this case, refers to the development or progress of technology in the American transport industry. Analyzed, declining may also mean the summer days or particular fortune which may be science. Line 21 reveals this further that the locomotive represents technical development in America. The poem describes it as a modern emblem or symbolism of motion and power representing the pulse of America as a continent. The motion and power emblem has given the locomotive enough power to drive America’s technical future. Line 4-17 has given out a complete picture and description of the appearance of the locomotive. The machine is mostly described as being powerful and strong. “Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting roads, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides” (Line 7). From the excerpt, it is succinct that the poet has employed contrast or juxtaposition to give more description and illustration of his thematic intent of the poem. The two words, parallel and connecting have opposite meanings and using them in the same sentence serves to underscore the main idea being discussed in the poem. The other poetic device that the poet has used is diction. In the previously mentioned extract, the poet has used archaic words like “thy” which ensure that the poem achieves its rhythmic or musical sound. The word is also a symbolism of the time setting of the poem. It shows that the poem was set during the ancient times when scientific development took over in the America continent. The poet has also employed vivid description besides appropriate word selection to give the picture of the old American society in terms of its scientific progress. In the eighteenth line, there is a talk of cars following obedient the locomotive. This is an implication that locomotive leads and everyone follows it merrily. “Merrily” implies that man is following the locomotive drives with pleasure as the machine drives through the gales, slacks, and swifts. The cars following the locomotive obediently is a symbolism with the meaning of mankind following technical fortune with great pleasure. At the end of the poem, the reader gets a view that the locomotive in the poem is driving through dreary sceneries. The locomotive, however, lacks the ability to affect its environment in a good way.
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