"A song for Charlie" by Adrienne Rich

"A song for Charlie" by Adrienne Rich

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The poem "A song for Charlie" by Adrienne Rich stresses death as well as the impact of death. The poet uses powerful, vivid imagery to describe his feelings about his friend's death. At the beginning of the poem he used metaphors to explain how his friend died of alcohol. He described vodka inside the freezer as immune from cold. "Cold" is a metaphor to introduce death since the presence of alcohol in the freezer does not affect it state even if it is exposed to a very low temperature. The poet also uses irony to communicate to the reader that thinking about Charlie prevents him from drinking. "I poor my self another thinking of how Charlie died of alcohol." He also explained that Charlie addiction to alcohol was the consequence of his separation with his wife. "Pat Frankel found him, who had consoled him tentatively when Janie left him." The death of Charlie led other people to open their hearts and express their sentiments toward their beloved. This poem, on one hand, seems to take a pessimistic point of view of life and its worth until the passage where the poet mentioned: "life goes on Charlie, and your friends still love you." This use of words reveals to the reader, on the other hand, an optimistic outlook of life and the need for one to create his or her own destiny. Then the poet jumped to the passage where he explained that Charlie was loved better by his friends and no one would have harmed him but he did harm himself because of the humiliation of his life and death. A humiliation in life because his wife left him and another humiliation in death because he died of alcohol.

The mood is also important to the poet when expressing his feelings.

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Charlie seems to be a good friend for him as the reader can notice from the use of strong expressions such as "poisoning", "naked" and "hard way."

A song for Charlie is a very deep poem, easily overlooked by its simplistic nature. However through the poet skillful use of diction, tone and mood, this poem is transformed into a deep, emotional and sensitive work.

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