The Death of a Toad Essay

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In the poem "The Death of a Toad" the author Richard Wilbur coveys a response throughout the poem to enlighten the speaker how to retort Wilbur's overall message he is telling the reader with the overall theme of nature. Richard Wilbur reveals the speaker's response that of compassion and love for nature to the death of a toad by his use in word choice in stanza one, two, and three. Wilbur's use of concrete and abstract diction is as prevalent in this poem as the amount of times he uses visual imagery to set the scene and the structure of the poem to go from chaos to peace. Richard Wilbur uses concrete and abstract diction, visual imagery, connotation in diction and a structure of chaos to invoke a speaker's response in stanza one. In line one and two Wilbur uses concrete diction and visual imagery to describe how the occurrence of this frog being dead all happened, "chewed and clipped of a leg" bring out the gore in this homicide of this animal in the "garden" leading the speaker to respond in disgust towards the mower. The first line shows chaos beginning by bringing in this gas powered vehicle into "the garden verge...[that] sanctuaried him" in a peaceful place. In line four, connotation is exercised with "cineraria" leaves, cineraria also referring to the place for keeping ashes; saying the place where this toad lies is his where he falls and becomes his tomb. As the stanza goes on it talks of "heartshapen leaves, in a dim, [l]ow, and final glade" the leaves are to reference the love of nature that the toad represents by living out his day "with a hobbling hop." The "low, and final glade" is another sign of connotation being a low and final grave where the toad will rest for the remainder of time. In stanza two, gives the speaker a theme of calming down, along with visual imagery, with a touch of naturist theme and concrete and abstract diction.

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