This is a comprehensive review of two poems, The Pitcher by Robert Francis and The Old Fashioned Pitcher by George Phair. Although both poems are infinitesimal in words, there affluence in meaning is almost unfathomable however spectacular. Before we can examine and analyze the two poems in question, it is best first to be cognizant with characteristics that make a good poem. Excellent poetry should stimulate your imagination, arouse your desires and leave an impression on your mind. It must be written well with the use of accurate and concise language. Furthermore, a great poem should contain several stylistic features such as personification, paradox, rhythm, onomatopoeia, symbolism, satire, allusion, alliteration, idioms and similes. In addition, it should bring out detail and elements like surprise, mystery, syntax and sufficient thought.
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In view of the above facts, it is evident that George Phair's The Old Fashioned Pitcher is the more desirable poem over, The Pitcher by Robert Francis, thus it is my preferred choice. From right at the beginning, the poem applies rhyme, which is a very useful stylistic feature that poets endeavor to incorporate in their work in order for the reader to retain most of the information they want to convey. This rhyme is found in first line of the poem which in part says; 'How dear to my hear'. Detail is a crucial aspect of a poem. The Old Fashioned Pitcher shows understanding in this element of poetry, as it contains clear, specific and in-depth information. For instance, in it's four line; 'Who pitches four innings and ducks from the scene,' we find very insightful information regarding the game of baseball. We learn that a pitcher is given only four attempts to throw the ball to their opponent who's waiting to bat.
It also informs us of what is required to be a good player as line nine to twelve portrays that one needs inordinate amount of strength, brevity and determination. At the same time, these lines highlight the use of symbolism in this poem to make it memorable to the reader. The line; 'The iron-armed pitcher,' for example, symbolizes a super strong pitcher. Throughout the poem the use of rhythm is apparent and grammar is excellent. The merit of this poem is in its use of simple short lines which are easy to remember and the detailed description which is enlightening. On the other hand, there exist a few flaws in this work of art. For instance its deeper meaning is not easily discernible to most readers. This is contrary to the principles of this art that poetry should reach the heart and stir the inner most emotions. Definitely this cannot happen if the reader does not understand or is unable to interpreter the deeper meaning of what they read. The absence of figure of speech and 0ther stylistic feature is notable.
The Pitcher by Robert Francis is also truly artistic. Right at the beginning he drops a huge vocabulary, the word; 'Eccentricity,' which is highly effective in reducing the number of lines the writer will use. This in turn spares the reader off some time, which could be used to absorb the poem. Unlike The Old Fashioned Pitcher which enlightens us on how the game is played and its requirement, The Pitcher describes the emotions and feelings of the player himself. This is shown by lines such as; 'His passion how to avoid the obvious,' and 'His technique how to vary the avoidance'. This approach to poetry is advantageous in that it stirs the reader's emotions and rouses them to action.
In this poem too, most stanzas are short and simple with correct grammatical use, thus prove memorable to its readers. The deeper meaning is quiet easy to realize. Even so, this poem has more faults compared to, The Pitcher of Robert Francis. For instance, it lacks direct useful details about the game, which in turn leaves the reader who is not familiar with this game in the dark. As a result this reader will be less captivated by the poem since even just understanding the superficial meaning is antagonizing to him. The absence of symbolism and rhyme is evident, which makes the poem plain and boring to read. If the aim of this poem was to incite, motivate and move its readers, then to some extent it has failed to accomplish this objective.
Conclusively, both poems have their strengths and weak points. Based on their approach, they have used a rich form of language, meaning and depth in order to project the exact feeling that is supposed to be felt. After reading and meditating on both poems, I preferred The Old Fashioned Pitcher over the other for this same reason.
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