Michael Ondaatje Writing Styles in To a Sad Daughter

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"To a Sad Daughter" is an 85-line poem with eight stanzas written in free verse. While Ondaatje does not rely on any overt poetic devices here, a close look does reveal considerable use of alliteration, as well as a strategy fairly common and always remarkable in this poet's work—his ability to sharply define a message with brief, surprising statements.

Many of the lines in "To a Sad Daughter" are quite prosy, detracting from the assonance and consonance that would otherwise be more prevalent. We find, however, a good flow of sound in such instances as the repetition of the "p" in "... reading the sports page over the Alpen/ as another player ..."; the repetition of the "ah" sound in "When I thought of daughters /I wasn't ..."; the various uses of "s" in "... I'll come swimming / beside your ship or someone will / and if you hear the siren / listen ..."; the...

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This section contains 547 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To a Sad Daughter Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
To a Sad Daughter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.