Woodchucks uses and altered rhyme scheme and heavily punctuated structure to help create a sense of unease in the poem. Composed of four six-line stanzas, the poem contains a rhyme scheme of ABCACB within each stanza. While it is a regular rhyme scheme, it is a fairly unusual one, helping their be something standing out as different about the poem. In addition, there are several instances of slant rhyme in the poem such as “worse… course” in the third stanza and “keeps…sleep” and “dream… unseen in the pivotal fourth and final stanza. These instances of slant rhyme also indicate a slight unease in the poe...
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...mplicit and quick, as the narrator “pushed her over the edge.” This short sweet description, make the death seem significant yet removed, helping it seem more acceptable.
Both Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin and Traveling Through the Night by William Stafford are poems about animal’s deaths that recognize the significance of their deaths, as evidenced by the descriptions they give of the animals. However, Woodchucks with its rapid pacing, detailed death scenes, and references to feared ideas, jams the death down the audience’s throats. Meanwhile, Traveling takes a slower pace and pulls focus away from the deaths, making the death be more acceptable. Thus Woodchucks shows how human nature can make killing a horrible experience and a flaw of man, while Traveling Through the Night shows that while difficult and horrible, sometime a kill is the right thing for a person to do.
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