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Free «Poem Analysis» Essay Sample

'The Song of the Factory Worker' by Ruth Collins


Ruth Collins has employed the use of symbolic words in many instances in a poem. She has used it elementally to strengthen certain elements found in the thematic concerns of the story. Considering the following phrase,

'You are like a vampire,

For wherever  I go,

You Know

I'm coming back to you' (Bohn, 1998)

Here the poet uses 'vampire' to symbolise the manner in which the factory building itself carries with it threatening effects that will eventually pull back the worker back to its scenery. Apart from this, it also serves to symbolise slavery as a component of the stringent factory life.


The poet employs several instances of imagery all through the poem. For instance, consider the phrase, 'You're like a vampire' (Bohn, 1998). Ordinarily, vampires are associated with the act of devouring live human beings from their unique settlements (Elvis, 2009). Here it has been put to use to give the same image of being capable of detaching beings from their normal livelihoods.  Imagery can also be seen in the following phrase,

'The whir, of the machinery

the click of the tacker,'(Bohn, 1998)

These serve to emphasize on the noisy factory environment in which most of the factory events are cemented.

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The setting of the poem appears to be within the work environment of the factory itself. Most of the descriptions given in the poem specifically simulate the factory's work environment as seen in the poet's phrases. This can be seen in the following phrases,

'Many who have sewed

Their life away

Within your walls'(Bohn, 1998).

This phrase fundamentally identifies with the factory's internal elements. Other internal elements can be seen in,

'And the tired eyed ones,

Watching the clock.' (Bohn, 1998).


Ruth Collins has widely used figurative language in bringing out important elements in the poem, for instance, she has concentrated on the use of personification of some of the lively components seen in the poem. This can be seen in,

'You're like a vampire

For wherever I go,

You know

I'm coming back for you' (Bohn, 1998)

These phrases give life to the factory, which is essentially an inanimate object of the poem. They also serve to simulate on the factory as being an entire process as opposed to the view of it being just a building.


The poet has stressed on numerous themes as seen in the poem, for instance, the theme of diligence and commitment to work has been emphasised all through the poem's progressive content (Elvis, 2009).

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The factory workers seem to be in an environment in which there are subjected to many control factors. Consider the following phrase,


'The piece workers,

Sewing fast

So fast that it makes you dizzy

To watch' (Bohn, 1998).


Ruth Collins has mainly aimed more on the female side of things in her poem. The poem basically emphasizes in the feminine fundamentals by concentrating more on the approaches of a woman towards work (Elvis, 2009). This can be seen in,

'The happy laughter of the girls

Telling jokes

You'll miss the songs

They sing.' (Bohn, 1998)

This opposed to men who will ordinarily be dissatisfied and wildly protesting. The feminine approach to work is fundamentally different compared to men's approach.

'Factory Jungle' by Jim Daniels


Jim Daniels has similarly employed the critical use of imagery in his poem to simulate the appearances of the machine environment in which the factory is elementally encapsulated. This can be seen in,

'thinking about what that mad elephant

Could do to a hand' (Davis and Murphy, 2010)

Here he figuratively describes the size of the plant the character in the poem is operating.


Once again, the poem is essentially set within the factory internal environment. This can be seen in the several descriptions seen in the poem. This can be seen in,

'thin light through the factory windows,

The sun on its way to the time clock,' (Davis and Murphy, 2010)

This description simulates the sun's rays entering the interior part of the building and striking the wall clock.


Jim Daniels employs the use of figurative language focusing especially when he personifies certain machine elements as seen in, 'thinking about what that mad elephant...' (Davis and Murphy, 2010).


Contrary to Ruth Collin's poem here, Jim Daniels concentrates more on the negative side of the work environment. For instance, he stresses more on the theme of suffering focusing more on the protest element (Elvis, 2009). This can be seen in,

'My veins fill with wielding flux

I get that itchy feeling I don't belong here.' (Davis and Murphy, 2010)

Here we see him complaining of the suffering he is going through by emphasizing on rejection.

We can also see this in,

'I would like to climb one of those ropes of light

Swing around the plant...


Past the man working the overhead crane

Everyone looking up, swearing off booze, pills,

Whatever they think made them see men' (Davis and Murphy, 2010)

Here Jim Daniels builds on the theme of protest. Throughout his essay, there is no single part of work admiration as Ruth Collins.


Jim Daniels's poem is based mainly on the men side of activities in the factory. The descriptions in the poem serve to emphasize the masculine entities found in the poem. This can be seen in the following,

'I rip open my overalls and pound my chest

Trying to raise my voice

Above the roar of the machines

Yelling louder than Tarzan ever had to' (Davis and Murphy, 2010)

Here he specifically refers to the character found in the epic story of 'Tarzan', in which masculinity forms the definition of the manhood spirit.


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