Léopold Sédar Senghor Writing Styles in Prayer to the Masks

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Apostrophe

Senghor often uses the figure of "apostrophe," a term in rhetoric referring to a direct address to an object, a place, an abstraction or ideal, or an immaterial entity such as a god or spirit. In "Prayer to the Masks," he addresses his poem to the masks, which in turn are figures of the ancestors and repositories of mythic powers. Apostrophe characteristically is used to imply the power of the poet's word or voice to wake hidden powers in nature or to bring the dead to life. Thus, in the latter half of "Prayer to the Masks," Senghor implores the masks to join with him in pushing forward the rebirth of Africa, but at the same time implying that it is his poetic "cry" that can compel the cooperation of the masks.

Rhythmic Repetition and Musicality

Senghor uses a strongly cadenced verse, with the rhythm marked by frequent...

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This section contains 575 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Prayer to the Masks Study Guide
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Prayer to the Masks from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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