Literary devices are an integral part of any poem as they allow authors to embed deep meanings with a few words. Allen Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas also use a variety of literary devices to bring sense to their poems. For example, Ginsberg’s poem’s central element is allusion as he refers to the poet of the past and makes many references to his work. In addition, the verse has three stanzas with different numbers and lengths of lines that do not rhyme.
Such an open form and many enjambments create a sense of the chaos of friendly conversation in a bustling city, although the rhythm helps maintain the poem’s shape. Ginsberg uses a variety of metaphors such as “hungry fatigue,” similes, and images of fruits to describe the bustle of the supermarket and show that he came there to “shopping for images” (lines 3-7). This approach creates a contrast to the last stanza of the verse, in which Ginsberg separates himself from society and wants it to be less materialistic. Consequently, these details form the poem’s general mood and allow readers to see its deep meaning.
Thomas also brings meaning to his poem through form and literary devices. First, the repeated lines and the stanzas’ size refer to the shape of the villanelle, which the author uses to emphasize the importance of his request. Thomas repeats: “Do not go gentle into that good night./Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” (lines 1,3,6,9,12,15, 18-19). Thus, he asks his father to fight death and not give up.
At the same time, Thomas presents life and death through the metaphors of “light” and “good night,” which demonstrates the absence of fear but the need to resist death as a dark force. Thomas also divides “men” into five categories to show the importance of their lives and attitude towards death and emphasizes that his father could bring more benefits to society through the metaphor “a green bay” (line 8). Thus, Thomas adds depth to the verse with metaphors and repetitions to show the need for a person’s struggle against death.
Ginsberg, Allen. A Supermarket in California. Poetry Foundation. Web.
Thomas, Dylan. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Poets. Web.