A Narrow Fellow in the Grass vs. Daily

June 6, 2010
By breezy313 BRONZE, Brush Prairie, Washington
breezy313 BRONZE, Brush Prairie, Washington
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Many times, people overlook the meaning of poems in today’s world. However, if you carefully examine them, you will soon find out that each one is different and unique. To analyze a poem, you must give meaning to every line and think about how that affects you. In doing this, it is easy to recognize the differences and similarities within poems. In two different poems, we are going to compare and contrast the different elements that can be found in each. The poems consist of “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” a poem that is about the author describing an animal in the grass. The other is titled “Daily” and it explains what a woman must go through in everyday life. Between “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” one similarity is each poem’s tone and the differences include the onomatopoeia, imagery, rhythm, personification and the similes within each poem.
To begin with, one of the similarities in the two poems is their tone. In both of these, the tone is very relaxed and easy to understand. An example of the tone in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass,” can be found throughout lines 1-4, it reads
“A narrow fellow in the grass
occasionally rides
You may have met him—did you not?
His notice sudden is.”
Obviously, there is a stake like rhythm and the poem is supposed to be read slowly to capture the movement of a snake slithering through the grass. In “Daily” the attitude of the poem also makes you feel relaxed because of how it describes daily life. In line 10 it says, “This bed whose covers I straighten.” This shows that the tone is relaxed because it paints a picture of easy, simple tasks that occur during the day. To conclude, in these two poems, they both have an easy flowing tone that is easy to describe as relaxed.
Secondly, the onomatopoeia in each poem can be categorized as the different because of their purpose. The onomatopoeia in each has a very different use and feeling. “Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash” can be located on line 13. Considering it reads “whip-lash”, this gives off a violent feeling and sound. The purpose of this onomatopoeia is violent and deadly. However, in “Daily”, the onomatopoeia is very different. Words like “poke into loosened soil” (line 3) and “fry to crisp strips” (line 8) are more non-violent sounds. These words found in the context show that the purpose is not violent and is more descriptive and make you feel relaxed. All in all, the onomatopoeia in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” have a very different sounds and feelings.
Next, imagery as with onomatopoeia is different in each poem. In “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” the imagery includes sight “The grass divides as with a comb.” (Line 5), feel “A floor too cool for corn.” (Line 10), and sound, “I thought, a whip-lash.” (Line 13). In “Daily” however the imagery includes sight “These shriveled seeds we plant” (line 1), feel “Smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket” (line 11) “poke into loosened soil” (line 3), sound “these tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips” (line 8), and taste “This rich egg scrambled” (line 9). The imagery in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” is different from “Daily” as in the usage of the senses make the poem seem ere all through the poem whereas in “Daily” the imagery and usage of the senses gives the poem the warm, homey feeling of a hard days work. All in all, imagery in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” although appealing to the same senses create a very different feeling within the readers.
Another element that is different in these poems that make them each unique is the rhythm within each. The rhythm has to do with whether or not the poems have a consistent pattern or if they don’t really have one. In these poems, this is obviously a difference considering one is meter and free verse. It is easy to notice that in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” there is a definite meter that is noticeable throughout it. As a whole, the poem is iambic, however from line to line it switches between tetrameter and trimeter. This is obvious in line one when the poem starts off with, “A narrow fellow in the grass.” Then you will find in line 6 it says, “A spotted shaft is seen.” Since there is a meter in this poem that indicates that it is important to have a distinctive pattern to show the behavior of a snake. On the other hand, in “Daily” the rhythm is free verse based on lines 1 through 7.
“These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips
These T-shirts we fold
into perfect white

As you can see, there is no set pattern in this poem. The fact that it is free verse shows that within daily life, there is no pattern, and life just goes however it wants. To finish, the rhythm in these poems is very different because one has a meter, the other has free verse and on top of that, they both have extremely unlike meanings.
Next, Personification in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” is also the same and different in many ways. In “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” personification is used with the first line of the poem “A narrow fellow in the grass.” (Line 1) to make the reader feel “sneaky” like something is creeping through the grass spying on passerby’s. In “Daily” “the hands are churches that worship the world,” (line 21) describe people worshiping which insinuates the feeling of joy into the poem. In conclusion, personification in “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” is again both different and the same in many ways.
Lastly, the similes used in each poem are also very different based on our interpretations of what they mean. In “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” the poem’s similes send a completely different message than the ones in “Daily”. Within the first poem on line 5, it says, “The grass divides as with a comb.” From the quote, it seems as though the writer is trying to communicate that nature also can be related to things in our everyday lives. When you think about that simile, it makes you feel sneaky in a way because of how the writer describes the “thing” moving. However, in the other poem, the purpose of the simile is very different. In Daily, a simile from line 14 says, “…the name balances like a cloud.” In this instance, it is totally different because it makes you feel sort of free and peaceful instead of sneaky. Also, another simile on line 18 reads, “This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again, like flags we share, a country so close.” This one seems deeper and down to earth unlike making you feel sneaky like the other poem. To finish, the simile’s purposes in these poems are very different because one is sneaky and one is more down to earth.
In conclusion, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” and “Daily” are but two examples of poems that when carefully examined have much deeper meaning. From tone to onomatopoeia, imagery, rhythm, personification and similes, each poem displays different ways of using each element. “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” uses the elements to make the poem sound eerie and suspenseful while “Daily” uses the elements to make the poem warm and relaxed.

The author's comments:
Brianna June 5th

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