The Lanyard And The Gift Comparison

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An innumerable amount of poems have been written over the history of humanity. With so many poems, there is an inevitable amount of similarity in the poems that exist, but on the other hand a guarantee of a certain degree of diversity. Even with two poems that seem to be exactly the same, one might find that they have contrasting elements upon dissecting them, and vice-versa. An example of two poems like this are “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins and “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee. Both poems contain like themes, similar yet disparate tones, and differ in their language use. The poems both contain a theme of the importance a parent plays in their child’s life, and the idea of a gift. In “The Lanyard,” Collins describes his mother’s care in detail, explaining that she “nursed me in many a sick room,” “taught me to walk and swim,” and “gave me life and milk from her breasts.” The gift is the lanyard the speaker gives his mother, which is represented as meaningless in comparison to all the mother has done for the speaker. In “The Gift,” Lee…show more content…
They are composed of mostly end-stopped lines with some enjambment. “The Gift,” however, contains more examples of figurative language than “The Lanyard.” A few examples of figurative language and imagery from “The Gift” are “a silver tear, a tiny flame” to describe the splinter; “a well / of dark water, a prayer” to describe the voice of the speaker’s father; “two measures of tenderness / he laid against my face” to describe how caring the father was while removing the splinter from the speaker’s hand. An example of figurative language from “The Lanyard” is “I was ricocheting slowly / off the blue walls of this room,” as the use of the word “ricochet” is an exaggeration of the speaker pacing around the room. Another example is “moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano” to describe the tedium and slowness of trying to find something to occupy
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