Analysis Of The Poem ' Nebraska '

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“Well, sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world” (Springsteen line 24). Poetry has more often than not been used to describe a situation that has happened, or could happen. A branch of poetry called Modernism rebels against traditional thought, and offers a new social agenda. “Nebraska” (1982) by Bruce Springsteen, “Marks” (1978) by Linda Pastan, and “Lies” (1999) by Martha Collins are all poems that fall under the era of Modernism. An important aspect of poetry is the author’s use of poetic devices. The young persona in “Nebraska”, metaphors in “Marks”, and repetition in “Lies” are used to promote the authors’ messages and discuss topics that challenge the public’s opinion. “Nebraska” is about a man who goes on a killing spree with a woman he loves for no apparent reason. Springsteen is known for his multiple concerts in order to fundraise for hurricane victims and selling over one hundred and twenty albums worldwide “Marks” is about a mother who is constantly judged by the people she loves and wants it to end. Pastan is known for winning the Mademoiselle Poetry prize, a Pushcart prize, and has written over twelve books of poetry and essays. “Lies” is a stream of thought contemplating what a lie actually is, and what counts as a lie. Collins has won multiple prizes and grants, along with four books of poetry. Each of these poems continues to shock readers and discuss topics few people like to acknowledge.
“Nebraska” uses a persona that is best described as classic “American”, which describes the voice as being a young Midwestern male that typically seems detached and rebellious. In the second stanza of “Nebraska,” the author clarifies the persona used by writing, “From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska, with a sawed-off ...

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...s using different poetic devices within the poems. “Nebraska” uses a rebellious persona, “Marks” uses a complex metaphor, and “Lies” constantly uses enjambment to enhance each poems message. Each of these poems was written around the modernist era, and display multiple characteristics of modernism, such as rebellious characters, topics that shock readers, and the embracement of new literary forms. Two of these poems have a theme that correspond to a prevailing social issue during that era. “Nebraska” was written alongside a series of other poems and songs depicting different serial killers during the same decade. “Marks” was written when women were believed to be less capable than men, but were also expected to exceed in everything they did. Poetic devices are used in most popular poetry and can enhance the messages and themes of poems as it did in these three works.

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