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Analysis of the Poem Watching Boxing as a Young Child

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The poem titled “Watching Boxing as a Young Child” is a humble piece of literature. It explores the mystery and complexity of boxing, and how it inspired a young boy and his father. Through poetry devices such as anaphora, irony, and allusion, the personae and reader learn the theme of this poem: Courage in the face of adversity.
The author begins the poem by stating “I didn’t yet know” (1). A variation of this line is repeated two more times throughout the first stanza. This anaphora gives the idea that the personae is in a state of innocence, yet about to learn a powerful lesson. As revealed in the title, this is a son speaking of his experiences watching boxing as a child. This recurrent phrase is counteracted in the second stanza with the line saying “Yet I somehow sensed” (16). While this young child did not know of the hurt and torture these boxers had to go through, he could sense the bravery required to endure.
The author also uses anaphora to stress the point that the poem is about the boxers. Third person pronouns are used repeatedly throughout the first stanza, such as they, their, and them. This gives the reader the idea that the young child is learning though example, not personal experience. This clue is reiterated in the last line which concludes, “The world inspired in its sons” (27). The theme of courage in the face of adversity is a lesson that, according to the author, is meant to be taught by the world.

When mentioning the names of the boxers, the author lists them in a unique way: “When my father said their names—Hearns Hagler, Leonard Ali Frazier, Duran Patterson” (18). At first, the reader might believe that these are the actual names of the boxers. However, these are not the full names of t...

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