Essay on The Importance of Elements in Poetry

Essay on The Importance of Elements in Poetry

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In Regina Barreca’s Poem, “Nighttime Fires”, she uses many elements of poetry to help portray the theme of the poem. Poetry is all about the way it is written. Poetry is short, so it tends to be much more complex than a novel. Poetry uses many elements to help the reader fully understand what the poet’s overall goal is. It is easy for the reader’s to enjoy this poem because it is easy to understand, and it can paint a great picture in the readers mind about the poem, using such elements. “Nighttime Fires” uses many elements such as: Tone, Image, and Figures of Speech.
The first Element is the Tone. The tone of a poem is very important. It sets the mood for the reader. In “Nighttime Fires” the reader can come to realize that the tone may be glum. If the reader would first take the word nighttime and we can figure out that it is not going to be a bright sunny happy poem, because night gives a short of dark and dreary mood to it. Next we have Fires; fires are usually not good, unless planned. When we see the word fire, we can tell that it may bright up this night. Once we get passed the title, Barreca opens up with: “…we drove to see nighttime fires. Piled seven of us, all pajamas and running noses…drove fast toward smoke (Barreca).” The tone is now officially set. They are piled into a car in their pajamas, so we know this was not planned. The tone seems sort of rushed now. Not only are they all crammed into the car, but they are then speeding down the road to get to this fire. Next we have “he woke my mother, and she pushed and shoved us all into waking (Barreca).” Again, it is becoming clear this was not planned. Now, saying this tone is rushed, does not mean it is frightening. None of the words seem to show signs of fear, it al...

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...on, we can picture the fire truck speeding through the streets, but also moving in a snake like way, navigating the streets perfectly. Finally, at the end of the poem Barreca says: “eyes like hallways filled with smoke (Barreca).” Again, this is a great way to finish off the story, Barreca ties in the overall theme of the poem to the last line in the story.
The elements in the poem work very well together to help set the theme of this poem. The tone set the overall mood of the poem, so show that it was rushed but not in a chaotic way. The imagery helps to show us little details of the setting, which are very helpful. And finally, the figures of speech, help the reader to compare the scene to things they have experienced in their lifetime to fully understand the poem.

Works Cited

Barreca, Regina. "Nighttime Fires." Meyer, Michael. Literature to Go. n.d. 361,362.

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