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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works With a touch of mock-heroic, Wilbur's "The Death of a Toad" (1950) ennobles a small being savaged by a lawn mower in a scenario as delicately interwoven as an impressionist painting. The meticulous shaping of line lengths from four to six beats and back down to four, four, and three suits the precise rhyming pattern of aabcbc. The purpose of so much discipline of language emerges from the lighthearted beats that elevate a dying amphibian to the all-seeing eye of nature. Hidden in green bower, he grows still as the life force drains away. Misinterpreted as a sage, the body gives up its life, but leaves the eye alert. Wilbur carries the poem beyond the toad's death to the impression it leaves on the viewer. The poet tweaks the imagination with the multiple possibilities of "dies / Toward some deep monotone," a suggestion of synesthesia (describing a sense impression with words normally used to describe a...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08