Comparing line one side by side, it is clear that replacing “toxins” with “banes” gives the negative connotation a broader field. The word “toxins” brings chemicals or plants to mind. Whereas, “banes” could mean a large number of things including, but not limited to, chemicals, plants, viruses, bacteria, human action, or traits of society. Looking next at line two, we can see that by substituting the verb seeped with percolated, the feel has been changed. Seep gives more of a natural feeling. Percolate on the other hand, in popular culture, brings to mind a mechanical processes, most likely from the use of coffee percolators. Now, the alteration of the noun cell to the noun cavity, in line two, gives the line a more emotional feel. The term cell as defined by oxforddictionaries.com is, “The smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, typically microscopic and consisting of cytoplasm and a nucleus enclosed in a membrane” (oxforddictionaries.com). The term cell has a colder and more scientific connotation than cavity.
Looking at the second stanza, there are three nouns that have been switched, as well as, on prepositional phrase. Plot in line three was changed to garden. The feel was slightly changed in line three because while plot means, “A small piece of ground marked out for a purpose such as building or gardening” (oxforddictionaries.com). A garden is more specific. It is a plot set aside for the use of vegetation. ...
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..., it would seem hook would be a very inappropriate word choice.
The last stanza has three substitutions. The first of which was switching taking with grabbing; which gave a more violent or aggressive feel. Next, I substituted influence for hold. The word influence gave a more refined feel than did hold. Yet, it did not go with the simple natural feel the poem had. The final change in stanza nine, as well as the entire poem, was switching earth with planet. Earth has a more personal feel; earth is our own planet, not just a generic term for celestial body.
The substation of a word, even with one of its own synonyms, alters the feel if not the entire meaning the word has in a poem. Therefore, it would behoove a reader of poetry to pay close attention to the word choice of the poet. Look for the feeling given by the connotation of the words chosen for each line.
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