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Kindly Unhitch That Star, Buddy

Poetry Analysis
by

Mimi Nguyen

on 21 November 2012

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Transcript of Kindly Unhitch That Star, Buddy

Main Metaphor: hitching a wagon to a star
common expression
"star" represents a wish/dream that may seem unreachable
"wagon" represents an individual's life and their aspirations

"kindly unhitch that star" - author is warning individuals not to dream to achieve something that is already known to be impossible to attain Poem Analysis Kindly Unhitch That Star, Buddy Form Tone/Mood Voice Figurative Imagery Rhyme and Rhythm Irony Theme Stanzas
one large stanza
sentences are divided between several lines and indented to create contrast between the two extremes within the poem
capitalized "No" & "Yes" - refers to the 2 ultimate extremes of life and draws attention to their importance Speaker:
omniscient- clearly thinks he/she is wiser than everyone else
outsider's perspective on ambition
written in first person
Emotion:
poking fun at society/humanity Rhyme
composed of couplets (AA, BB, CC, DD, etc.)
altered words to create rhyme
Rhythm
long, flow-y run on sentences with no punctuation mimics a person's lengthy path to success
downfalls and pitfalls mimicked by natural pauses from commas and periods poem describes that some individuals think they will just gain their success without doing anything but in real life we know that you must work hard in order to obtain success
poet's belief is that for the average person who goes though life looking and striving to become successful will most likely end up failing
longest sentence begins with "In short"- adds to the humourous tone Most individuals that relentlessly strive for success, in various degrees of perseverance, will only feel the urge to obtain greater success; thus, an individual will never completely feel satisfied with their achievements. Tone/Mood:
ridiculing, humourous
Making fun of people's ambition for success/Emerson's idea
"Buddy" in title - implies informality of the poem
altered words (eg. baliffim, blondance) create rhyme & informality
irony in the poem Title's Influence Title derived from Ralph Waldo Emerson's (poet) quote: "Hitch your wagon to a star."
Emerson encouraged individuals to strive for greatness
Demonstrated Odgen Nash's view on success & on Emerson's outlook
connects to the main metaphor of the poem Unfamiliar Words ghrinestones
brunettance
blondance
correspondence
contemptuous Diction Connotation:
use of "bare" as opposed to wear archangel
celestial
cherubim
seraphim
bailiffim
sheriffim Denotation:
repetition of the word "contemptuous" adds to poet's negative outlook References Palm Beach (Florida)
The Ritz (chain of luxury hotels) Discussion Questions 1. The poet warns in the poem that an individual will never feel satisfaction towards their success. Do you agree with the poet's view on success? Why or why not? Discussion Questions 2. In your opinion, what is the best way to achieve success? Discussion Questions 3. How would life differ if everyone obtained success, as described in the last few lines of the poem? Figurative Imagery Hyperbole: "such is the fate of humanity that ninety-nine percent of them still wouldn't be any better off than they were before"
exaggeration that either answering "yes" or "no" will guarantee success or not
there are many factors affecting how successful you are as person and everyone defines success differently Kindly Unhitch That Star, Buddy

I hardly suppose I know anybody who wouldn't rather be a success than a
failure,
Just as I suppose every piece of crabgrass in the garden would much
rather be an azalea,
And in the celestial circles all the run-of-the-mill angels would rather be
archangels or at least cherubim and seraphim,
And in the legal world all the little process-servers hope to grow up into
great big ballifim and sheriffim.
Indeed, everybody wants to be a wow,
But not everybody knows exactly how. Poet: Odgen Nash an American poet known for his light verse
New York Times: "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry"
wrote over 500 poems
known for suprising, pun-like ryhmes, comedic misspellings/made up words
often wrote in exaggerated couplets of irregular length and meter Some people think they will eventually bear diamonds instead of rhinestones,
Only by everlasting keeping their noses to their ghrinestones,
And other people think they will be able to put in more time at Palm
Beach and the Ritz
By not paying too much attention to attendance at the office but rather
in being brilliant by starts and fits.
Some people after a full day’s work sit up all night getting a college
education by correspondence,
While others seem to think they’ll get just as far by devoting their evenings
to the study of the difference in temperament between brunettance
and blondance. In short, the world is filled with people trying to achieve success,
And half of them think they’ll get it by saying No and half of them by
saying Yes,
And if all the ones who say No said Yes, and vice versa, such is the fate of humanity
that ninety-nine percent of them still wouldn’t be any better
off than they were before,
Which perhaps is just as well because if everybody was a success nobody
could be contemptuous of anybody else and everybody would start in
all over again trying to be a bigger success than everybody else so they
would have somebody to be contemptuous of and so on forevermore,
Because when people start hitching their wagons to a star,
That’s just the way they are. Emily Moon & Mimi Nguyen "kindly" in title is an older term less commonly heard and used today
relates to the time the poem was written in the mid 1900's
as mentioned, creation of new words or altering of words creates rhyme in the poem Time Period/Setting written in mid 1900's
timeless setting
theme in poem is relevant to any time period Odgen Nash
Full transcript