Literary Elements Used in “[Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone]”

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Kayla Meadows Instructor Rita Rogers ENG 131-IT3 10 May 2014 Literary Elements Used in “[Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone]” In the poem “[Stop All the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone]”, W.H. Auden is able to incorporate the usage of personification, metaphors, and imagery effectively to help the reader feel the overwhelming grief the speaker is experiencing over the loss of his or her loved one. Auden is able to draw a vivid picture of the grief felt after the loss of a loved one. The speaker wants to be able to stop time so he or she does not have to feel this sorrow any longer. The use of personification, metaphors, and imagery draws you into the poem and makes you feel the pain and grief of losing a loved one while also communicating the theme of death. First of all, I noticed the use of personification in the second stanza. Personification is when human characteristics are given to an inanimate object. The poet describes how the aeroplanes “circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead” (Auden 539). While aeroplanes do not have the ability to scribble or to moan, saying that they do adds complexity to the poem. It is almost like saying that the aeroplane is suffering grief of the death as well as the speaker. This shows how the emotions of sorrow and grief dominate over any other feelings the poet could have. Furthermore, metaphors are also effectively used to convey the emotion of grief. Metaphors are used to compare two things that are different but also have some similar traits. Auden used metaphors in this poem to express how much the person who has passed away meant to the speaker. Metaphors are used starting in the second stanza: “He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song…” (539). In this stanza, the poet is stating that the one that

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