Wild Geese Essay

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Potter is a writer of fiction and screenplays. In this essay, Potter shows how the interplay of elements of incantation reveals the theme of Oliver's poem.

Chanting, casting a spell, prophesizing the future— incantation in poetry and music uses rhythm and repetition to evoke emotion rather than to appeal to one's sense of humor or reason. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, for example, witches recite their recipe in an incantation, summoning forth the spirits. Incantation has its literary roots in the Bible, popular examples are found in the Psalms, when the Hebrew poets call out to God, lamenting their fortune or praising his goodness.

An example of incantation in American poetry lies in Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," which twentieth-century poet Allen Ginsberg also played upon in "Howl." These poems exhibit the long, rolling lines set off by shorter lines that are characteristic of incantation. The meter of these lines...

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This section contains 1,218 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wild Geese Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Wild Geese from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.