Richard Hugo Writing Styles in For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton

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Personification

Personification is the act of assigning human qualities to inanimate things. By giving the river the capacity to "sing," Hugo personifies it, making it a character in its own right, with human attributes. He also personifies the beaver when he writes, "The thought of water locked tight in a sieve / brings out the beaver's greed." Greed is a human construct and an idea not known to animals. By personifying the river, the speaker is better able to draw comparisons between it and Jennifer, as he does in the opening stanza.

Sound

Hugo uses a variety of sonic devices in his poem to underscore the action of the river and the role of language as a subject in his poem. These devices include, but are not limited to, consonance, assonance, and alliteration. Consonance denotes the repetition of two or more consonants, as with the "r" in the line "Riverbeds...

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This section contains 363 words
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Poetry for Students
For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.