Asleep By Thomas Hardy Poem Tone

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The class helped me explore my poem’s meaning. I set out to write a poem about a murder, hence the narrator “tapping [her] feet against the asphalt” in the first draft. I pictured a protagonist who was so helplessly trapped in her life that she had to kill someone. She was not supposed to be harming herself physically; however, she was supposed to be in pain emotionally. I interpreted the “demon” as both the person she was killing and as a personification of her mental state. In contrast, my classmates widely interpreted the poem as a story about the narrator intentionally harming or killing herself. So, I altered the first line so that the narrator was “scraping [her] feet against the asphalt” to not confuse anyone who interprets the poem …show more content…

I replaced the dialogue with exposition by having the narrator explain how “soft whispers and warm glances” from a “demon” have “led [her] to betray” that demon. The finished poem is still open to interpretation about who or what that demon is, but I clarified the meaning of that verse by erasing the awkward use of flashback and dialogue. Another change that was suggested to clarify the meaning of the poem was to alter “[the narrator’s] blood run[ing] cold and numb” to another description that was less cliché and connected better with the narrative. I agreed, since I never liked that line either. I just struggled to create another line that ended with a word that rhymed with “sum”, but I eventually connected the prior idea that “with each wet step” the narrator “grew lighter” to the idea that her inner demons have been vanquished. So, I changed the line to the narrator’s soul being drained to the point where she feels “empty and numb”. One critique that did not alter my poem was the use of “heart pounds”, which the classmate said was a cliché description. Since the phrase was matched with “brain pulses” to create alliteration, I could not think of a word to replace “pounds” that would still have the same harsh effect when read

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