William Dickey's The Lumbar Executive

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There are several components necessary to make a poem both understandable and engaging. William Dickey’s short poem, or chant as he calls it, The Lumbar Executive, possesses two of these components, persona, who is speaking in the poem, and repetition and rhythm, the repeat of words or lines and how it helps with the flow of the poem. William Dickey titled his poem, The Lumbar Executive, already telling the reader that the poem is in the point of view of some sort of big boss, to be more exact a lumbar executive. The typical, somewhat stereotypical, characteristics of a man in charge is seen throughout the poem. Within the first line of what Dickey calls a chant, the unnamed lumbar executive is giving orders, “The sacred direction: down.…show more content…
Bring it to fire”. (155). It is almost exactly like the other beginning lines, instead of the word down or red, it uses the word fire, and even then there can be parallels drawn from the color red to the element of fire. The lumber executive uses different forms of destruction to achieve his goals and the goals of the company, he has now turned to the arguably the most severe forms of destruction. The next line of the stanza recognizes the result of the fire but in an non empathetic way, “Fire’s afterbirth, the long dangle of waste, pitted” (155). The last line of the stanza, and poem, repeats the same structure of the previous stanzas’ last lines, it is shorter the other lines of the lines in the stanza and it finishes the sentence started in the second line. The last line of the poem brings in another element, water “by unwilling waters”. (155). Water is the opposite of the other fire, but not necessarily the opposite of destruction, the theme throughout the…show more content…
I learned more about repeating parts of lines, and how I can get that to work in my poems, before this I really only thought about repeating a single word or a whole line, not something in between that. I also leader that depending on the persona I choose to tell my story through, it can affect repetition. I can see a know it all executive who wants his way to repeat himself a lot but I can't necessarily see a professor teaching a high level science class to repeat

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