Analysis of Encounter 3 A.M.

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Franz Wright, an American poet and winner of the Pulitzer Prize wrote the poem “Encounter 3 A. M.” He is the narrator in this poem, and he describes a personal experience. The poet uses the first person in the poem, so for this analysis, it is assumed that the poet is talking about a personal experience and that he is the protagonist. In the poem, he says he saw a young girl at 3 a.m. who was wearing a miniskirt, a jacket and make up. He wanted to help her but at the end “he turned his back on her.” He talks about what lots of girls have to go through, to at least have a meal once a day. Wright shows us what many of us have to face during our lifetime in his poem. Wright’s poem is effective because it includes visual images, a clear theme and a strong mood. Wright tries to explain the scene in detail. Therefore he includes visual images in his poem. Wright states : a pretty fourteen-year-old maybe, in black denim jacket and skirt not designed with your midwinter night wind chill factor in mind; one who somewhat resembled a very tall child who’d botched her first attempt at trying on her mother’s make up. He describes how the young girl was dressed and gives us an idea of how she looked. This element that Wright uses is one of the most important ones. Imagery makes the audience participate completely in the poem by appealing to our six senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and balance (Elements of Poetry). It allows the author to transmit what he or she wants, through his/her words. I felt that in this poem Wright appealed the most to my sense of sight. The description that he gave about the girl was quite precise and it made me picture her in my mind. Imagery also makes it easier to the reader to understand and interpret what he is saying in the poem. For example, the way Wright described his feelings helped me understand the mood of the poem. I
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