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The Watch

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by

Brook Solheim

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of The Watch

The Watch
by Frances Cornford

Brook Solheim
AP Literature
3rd Period
November 4, 2013

The Watch
By Frances Cornford (1886-1960)


I wakened on my hot, hard bed;
Upon the pillow lay my head;
Beneath the pillow I could hear
My little watch was ticking clear.
I thought the throbbing of it went
Like my continual discontent,
I thought it said in every tick:
I am so sick, so sick, so sick;
O death, come quick, come quick, come quick,
Come quick, come quick, come quick, come quick.

I wakened on my hot, hard
bed
;
Upon the pillow lay my
head
;

Here Frances Cornford uses alliteration in his first line while describing his bed, "
h
ot,
h
ard bed;". When the speaker describes his bed he uses the words hot and hard, which tells the reader that the speaker has a fever and is very sick. When you have a fever you are hot (hot) and your body aches (hard), which is why Frances Cornford uses these two adjectives.

Beneath the pillow I could
hear

My little watch was ticking
clear
.

In these two lines the reader is able to picture the sick and dying speaker. He is laying so that his hand is under or near his pillow while he is resting, which allows him to hear the ticking of his watch.

I thought the throbbing of it
went

Like my continual
discontent
,

Here the speaker states that his illness and discomfort can be compared to the ticking of his watch, which is never ending.

I thought it said in every
tick
:
I am so sick, so sick, so
sick
;

The speaker here uses personification by stating that his watch was speaking, "I thought it
said
in every tick;".
The speaker also alliteration again, "
s
o
s
ick,
s
o
s
ick,
s
o
s
ick;" .

O death,
come quick
,
come quick
,
come quick
,
Come quick
,
come quick
,
come quick
,
come quick
.

Here the speaker is talking to death as if it were a person, which is personification. The speaker then uses repetition by repeating "come quick" several times in the conclusion of the poem. In these two lines the speaker uses the repetition along with alliteration in a very interesting way; While reading the poem the repetition of the word "qu
ick
" sounds like the ticking of a watch.
In Frances Cornford's poem, The Watch, the speaker tells the story from his death bed. The tone of the poem is very serious and sullenly. The poem is a metaphor where the speaker describes the reltionship between his watch and his illness. Both of these two things are continuous and, in a way, annoying. The speaker is lying helpless on his bed and the silence allows him to hear every single tick that his watch makes. The speaker is helpless against the sickness and the ticking of his watch is a constant reminder of his physical state . At the end of the poem the speaker is so fed up with the irksome ticking of his watch and the pain that his sickness brings him, that he just wants to die.
Full transcript