Collins in his poem “Winter Syntax” charms right from the first line with his stimulating setup: "A sentence starts out like a lone traveler / heading into a blizzard at night." (Collins) In the poem “Winter Syntax,” Collins talks about complexities of writing by setting an analogy between “lone traveler” and writer (Collins, line 1). As a proponent of making comedy equally acceptable in serious literature, one can see the effect of humorist like Bob Newhart or the cartoonist like Charles Schultz while reading poems by Billy Collins (Hecht 94). In the first line of the poem, Collins comments that a writer’s work is equivalent to a solitary traveler starting for a tough expedition. He means that writing is related to one’s personal experience. While still connecting the difficulties that any writer faces with that of an adventurous traveler, there are more interesting implications. Thus metaphorical comparisons are made to produce the desired imageries. The blizzard or snow is analogous to a white page. One can find images of freezing weather and the solitary man struggling in snow.Collins’ writing style in “Winter Syntax,” like “Adolescence II” of Dove, does not make use of defined meter or rhyme. This is one of the most important trends in today’s poetry where imagery takes preponderance over defined word/pronunciation rules, such as meter and rhyme. Another notable feature about the poem “Winter Syntax” is use of 30 prepositional phrases. Like Dove, poetic style of Collins is one of personification with similes and metaphors.Instead of any set structure, vivid imageries under nighttime. Poem Analysis: Dove, Komunyakaa, Sanchez and Collins.
1. Ali, Kazim. Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art, and the Architecture. University of Michigan Press, 2010.
2. Collins, Billy. “Winter Syntax”, In Anthology of American Literature 9th ed Vol II. Pearson Prentice Hall(Publisher),2007
3. Dove, Rita. “Adolescence II”, In Anthology of American Literature. 9th ed. Vol II. Pearson Prentice Hall Publisher,2007, p. 1971
4. Dove, Rita and Ingersoll, Earl G. Conversations with Rita Dove. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2003.
5. Dowson, Jane. Older Sisters are very Sobering Things. Feminist Review, (1999) 24. 3, 251-271.
6. Hecht, Jennifer Michael. Funny. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2005.
7. Komunyakaa, Yusef. “Ode To The Maggot”. Ibiblio. Web. 11 June 2011. <http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/poems/komunyakaa/ode_to_the_maggot.php>.
8. Komunyakaa, Yusef and Gracia, Chad. Gilgamesh: A Verse Play. Wesleyan University Press, 2009.
9. Sanchez, Sonia. “The Final Solution”, In Anthology of American Literature, 9th ed. Vol II. Pearson Prentice Hall Publisher,2007
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