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4 pages/≈1100 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Analyzing the Poem "If You Come Softly" by Audre Lorde Essay (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Write an essay analyzing poem "If you come softly" by Audre Lorde
- First 5 paragraphs, each paragraph analysis one stanza (e.g. 1st paragraph - 1st stanza, 2nd paragraph - 2nd stanza
- Each paragraph has to include:
1. What does the stanza talk about? Explain and describe the meaning
2. Literary/Poetry devices are used in the stanza
3. THE USE/PURPOSE OF EACH LITERARY/POETRY DEVICE IS USED IN THE STANZA
4. IMAGERIES ARE USED IN THE STANZA. EFFECT/USE OF THOSE IMAGERIES?
5. Relate to the theme of the poem
- 6th Paragraph: What does the whole talk about? Theme of the whole poem?
- 7th paragraph: Structure and form of the poem

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Content:

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Analyzing the Poem "If You Come Softly" by Audre Lorde
The first stanza introduces the themes of silence and sorrow. The first line, "If you come softly" shows the speaker in a conditional mood. She says that her wish is that her lover approaches her softly. In the second line, Lorde uses simile by comparing a soft approach to the "wind within the trees," hinting at the paranormal nature of the poem's intended listener (line 2). The soft approach of wind portrays a ghostly presence that is unseen but felt. The speaker requests that their love interest makes a gentle approach indicating that she only wants a positive experience despite their love and hate relationship. The third line means that the speaker's lover will see things from the speaker's point of view if he meets the conditions set in the preceding lines. This means that a soft approach will guarantee agreement between the two parties and reduce the chances of an argument. In the fourth line, Lorde uses alliteration by placing the words "see," "sorrow," and "sees" close to each other (line 4). Alliteration improves the poem's rhythm and in this case acts as a onomatopoeic element that imitates the sound of the wind in the trees (line 2). The poet personifies the emotion "sorrow" (line 4) who is the speaker's constant companion and portrays the speaker's grief and yearning for the company of the loved one.
The second stanza introduces the speaker's relationship with her partner. The fifth line mirrors the first line of the previous stanza in that it presents a condition for the desired meeting. This time, the speaker wants her partner to approach lightly, retaining the meaning of a positive mood in their encounter. The sixth line uses simile to compare the desired light approach to that of "threading dew" relates the speaker's feelings to nature (line 6). Dew represents a fresh morning, portraying the relationship as a source of hope and joy for the speaker. In the seventh and eighth lines, the speaker says that she will "take you gladly/Nor ask more of you" to indicate her joy at his mere presence (lines 7-8). The speaker suggests that she previously asked too much of him, and she does not wish to repeat that mistake. The speaker indicates a willingness to ignore her differences with him for a little more time together. Thus, this stanza shows that the speaker and him have good and bad memories and that reliving the good memories is the speaker's foremost desire.

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