Poem Analysis: The Sound Of Silence By Paul Simon

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The narrative poem The Sound of Silence was authored by Paul Simon. The poem is narrated in the first person point of view by a voice who, due to the prophetic connections made throughout the book, does not appear to be the author but rather an independent observer within the poem itself. A massive crowd of people on a street and a “fool” also appear during the poem, though their perspectives are never directly explored. The narrator awakens from a frightening dream and recounts the events to the darkness in which he wakes. He explains that in his dream, which is implied to be a recurring dream by the pluralization of the word, he walked down a lit street in the cold until he suddenly came upon a huge group of people who were communicating in superficial ways without saying anything substantial to each other. He tried to warn them of the dangers of this behavior, but was ignored. The…show more content…
The poet uses imagery and extended metaphor here, comparing the vision to a creeping plant, possibly parasitic, that took over the narrator’s brain and planted seeds while he was in the vulnerable state of sleep. The specific diction feels invasive, using words like creeping, seeds, and planted and gives the impression that the narrator is not going to be able to simply ignore what this vision means, since things that is seeded and planted tends to take root. The stanza ends with the oxymoronic phrase “the sound of silence”. The narrator, sitting in the darkness, is currently surrounded by this “sound of silence” This statement is oxymoronic as silence, in its literal sense, is the absolute lack of sound and thus cannot have a sound of its own. Coupled with the invasive imagery and diction of the rest of the stanza, however, the narrator seems to be suggesting that the silence has a sound because, like his vision, it is
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