The Barred Owl And The History Teacher Essay

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The two poems, “The Barred Owl” and “The History Teacher”, display different ways of soothing child fears and attempting to protect the children's innocence with their tone, rhyme scheme, and humor. Wilbur specifically uses personification with a different point of view than Collins. Collins comes from a more ironic tone in his poem and portrays the history teacher as a protector of the children’s innocence, when in reality, they have already lost it. “A Barred Owl” by Richard Wilbur is an iambic pentameter that has steady beat and a couplet rhyme scheme. This gives the poem a more childlike and comforting tone. He also personifies the owl in the line “who cooks for you” to help comfort the child and by utilizing the child’s vast imagination. By doing this, Wilbur “domesticate[s] [the child’s] fear.”…show more content…
Wilbur does so with comforting and childlike rhyme scheme and tone with personification to ease the child’s thoughts. This leaves the child to not dream of “some small thing in a claw/ borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.” The poem successfully calms the child’s worries and relieves their curiosity. Collins, on the other hand, ironically portrays the teacher as protecting the children’s innocence when he later implies that they had already lost it. He is shielding them from real world events that every child should learn in school. Feeding them more ignorance is does not protect their innocence, for children go to school to learn. This poem is a perfect example of how education allows students to be taught about the past and learn from what happened in history to better live in the future. With education comes wisdom and if the students were taught the real stories, they would not have been “messing up [other kids’] hair and breaking their glasses.” Though each poems strides to protect, both are filled with comforting lies that will sooner or later be confronted by the
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