Ellen Bryant Voigt Writing Styles in Practice

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Imagery

“Practice” is written in only seventeen short lines. Voigt makes the most of her brevity by introducing strong, compelling imagery that serves multiple purposes. The first image is that of the clock with its “whisker” (hand) twitching. The use of the word “whisker” brings the clock to life, as if it were an animal with the power to make time progress. The image is believable because the reader can immediately understand that a clock resembles an animal's face, but the image also reveals the speaker's feelings about time. In her grief-stricken state, the speaker feels that time is not on her side. She wishes that it would pass more quickly, perhaps by being subject to the will of a living thing. Although she knows that time passes at its own pace, regardless of her wants, she indulges the idea that time can be manipulated. Mourning can be a...

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This section contains 544 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Practice Study Guide
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