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Gary Snyder Writing Styles in True Night

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Alliteration and Assonance

The poet uses a variety of poetic devices to create the effect he wants. In the first line, when the poet is fast asleep in bed, the assonance and alliteration, as well as the use of words of one syllable, create an effect that suggests a state of consciousness different from the normal waking state. The assonance is in the repetition of the "e" sounds in "sheath" and "sleep." These two words also show the use of alliteration, the repetition of initial consonants. The alliteration also occurs in the second part of the line, in "black" and "bed."

Simile

The poet also makes telling use of simile. A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is compared to something else. The two items of comparison are mostly unalike, but the simile identifies one aspect in which they resemble each other. For example, in...

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Poetry for Students
True Night from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.