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Speaker and Diction

"Knoxville, Tennessee," "Child on Top of a Greenhouse," and "The Base Stealer"

Jay Ranson

on 18 February 2011

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Transcript of Speaker and Diction

Speaker and Diction in Poetry Speaker – the voice of the poem OR the role that the poet plays in the poem

Diction - the selection of words in a piece of literature to convey meaning, suggest attitude, and create images

“Knoxville, Tennessee” Themes – the seasons and childhood
Speaker – The reference to “daddy” tells the reader that the speaker is more than likely a child.
Tone – The use of the word “you” and the lack of punctuation give the poem an informal tone.
The use of parallelism also gives the poem an informal tone.
Can you see the parallelism?
“Child on Top of a Greenhouse” Theme – individualism and youth vs. age
Speaker – the use of the word “my,” combined with the use of sophisticated words, establishes the speaker as an adult looking back on childhood.
Word choice – vivid participles (flashing, rushing, plunging, tossing) denote a delight in the senses for the crowd watching.
How does the child on the roof feel?
“The Base Stealer” Theme – taking risks
Speaker – At first, the speaker is unidentified, but the reader later learns that the speaker is an observer when the third person pronoun “he” is used (line 7).
Word Choice – The poet interjects into his descriptions of the base stealer the informal, “under the breath” urgings of the excited fan: “come on, come on,” “crowd him, crowd him,” and “Delicate, delicate, delicate – now!” (ll. 5, 9, 10).
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