Octopus Poem Analysis

760 Words4 Pages
Upon scansion of “Octopus,” one notes that there something of a rhyme scheme - AABB to be exact - though not completely in the conventional sense of masculine rhyme. For the most part rhyme is assonantal, such as in lines four and five with the words “moonlight” (Line 4) and “guide” (Line 5). Another type of rhyme that often occurs is feminine rhyme, as is the case with the words “recognition” (Line 21) and “prison” (Line 22). The first two lines may be an exception, with the words “withhold” (Line 1) and “who” (Line 2), but perhaps it could be considered poor assonantal rhyme due to the repeat of the o sound at the end of both words. The mixture of rhyme types without any clear sense of purpose indicates a lack of skill on the author’s part;…show more content…
This elevates the power of these two phenomenons, as instead of being benign entities they are portrayed as being able to control life and death itself. In terms of poetic devices, enjambment is extremely common, often occuring for whole stanzas and exists between every two lines. However, the most poignant, albeit subtle, use of figurative language is the instance of metaphor. Perhaps the most obvious is the presence of the “stormy sea”(Line 7), especially combined with the fact that the stanza focuses on the absence of a guide and the following stanza emphasizes the harshness of the world - which would be the sea in the octopus’s case. As this is a piece of poetry and there is nothing to contradict such a conclusion, one can assume that the sea, being a body of water, stands for one’s subconscious mind. And indeed it is - just like the octopus into the sea, humans are placed ex improviso into their own minds, with no clear support system despite a painful awareness of one’s own vulnerability and loneliness. The use of second person further strengthens the octopus-as-human metaphor, since the reader is given the implicit understanding that he or she is the octopus of the poem. However, this changes mildly after the third stanza, as the octopus is made to seem less like the reader and more like a metaphor for an admirable person.
Open Document