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James Tate Writing Styles in Smart and Final Iris

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Smart and Final Iris.
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Definitions

"Smart and Final Iris" is written as a series of definitions. Definitions are statements that attempt to express the meaning of a word, word group, sign, or symbol. Tate inverts the conventional order of defining terms by first supplying the definition and then the name of the thing defined. For example, he first gives the definition of "rural paradise" in the opening stanza, writing, "Pentagon code / for end of world." This is similar to how questions and answers are formulated on the popular game show, Jeopardy. By using code words to name the thing defined, Tate is creating metaphors. Metaphors are figures of speech that draw similarities between two unlike things or ideas. Tate's metaphoric definitions are often ironic because the similarities are the opposite of what one would expect. For example, "paradise" isn't what most people think of when they think of the end of the world...

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This section contains 250 words
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Poetry for Students
Smart and Final Iris from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.