Divorce By Billy Collins Summary

  • Category: Literature, Poems,
  • Words: 768 Pages: 3
  • Published: 07 April 2021
  • Copied: 183

Poems can be a great way for people to express what they're going through and their emotions. The poem being analyzed allows the reader to experience what it feels like to fall out of love with someone and what a divorce is like. Billy Collin’s poem titled “Divorce” embodies the themes of {regret, spite, vengeance}, the reader can feel all of the character’s internal emotional conflicts as they decipher the meanings between the lines. Through our analyst of Collin’s work, the reader can see through his use of personification, tone, and syntax the roller coaster of emotions he went through before and during his divorce. 

Personification is used to describe a person by replacing them with an inanimate object and giving the item personable traits. A writer might choose to include this in their writing to describe the relationship between two people. It can help the reader better understand the concepts and ideas through showing off the relationship between items. In this case the writer used personification to describe the stages of the relationship throughout the poem. The spoons represented them while they were getting along. This paints an image of a couple spooning in bed while being cuddly and romance. This represents the beginning of the relationship when they got along very well. However, now, the speaker describes them as tined forks. A metaphor that shows their different opinions has caused a wedge between them. This as a result leaves gaps in between them, painting an image of a couple sleeping on opposite sides of the bed. Which is common when couples are angry at each other. Therefore, the reader can see how personification helps us understand what their relationship was like by comparing them with objects such as forks and spoons.

Syntax describes the writer’s choice of word and how they arrange it to build on an idea. A writer should be very careful in their voice of words because this can make a large impact on how the reader interprets the situation. In order to make an impact writers should pick words that can be understood in different ways that describe what the writer wants to convey. In this case, the way that the writer chose and arranged his words helped to show contrasting images that worked to build the feelings of tension in the relationship. Here, the writer Collin compares two very contrasting images, a bed versus a granite table. This is used to show that the couple’s feelings are now hard, cold, and tense like a granite top versus the warm and soft bed of when they used to get along. As a result, his choice of syntax, which is the bed and granite that represents their attitude and feelings towards one another.

The tone in every poem can be extremely important as it sets the whole mood of the story. It tells us a lot about the setting and situation that is going on. If the reader misunderstands the tone of the poem they can completely be thrown off. While there is no wrong interpretation of a poem the reader can end up missing the true meaning behind a piece of work. In this work Collin paints a lot of before and after images of this relationship. Mainly the idea that they used to be happy but are now cold towards each other. This creates a tone of regret and sadness. The tone in this poem climaxes in this work when he mentions the knives. An interesting interpretation of this knife by another student is that it can represent the lawyers that they hired for the divorce. In this, the lawyers are represented by knives because it is being used to cut their ties in legal means. Here, the knives switch the tone to a that is more more spiteful. The image that they are trying to hurt each other in court is painted. The readers can use our imagination to see that they want to stab each other in the back. They could be fighting for custody or assets which are a very real problem in the world. Hence, the reader can see how it would be difficult to understand this poem if they didn’t know that it was about the grief of going through a divorce.

In conclusion, personification and syntax in this poem really helped to build the tone and capture the audience by allowing them to experience the emotions themselves.The personification of the spoons, forks, and knives help to paint an image of each stage in their relationship.The syntax he chose shows the contrast between when they were a happy couple versus their attitude towards each other when they were divided by their opinions.

The tone in this poem shows a bit of regret as the speaker seems to distance themselves from the experience. The person does not put themselves in the poem at all and uses inanimate objects as if to help convey their feelings as if to them forget the past.


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