Poem ‘How to Wild Animals’ Poetic Devices Class 10 English

The poem “How to Tell Wild Animals” by Carolyn Wells uses several major poetic devices that enhance its humour and descriptive quality. Click here for Notes with Stanza-Wise explanations.

1. Rhyme Scheme

Each stanza follows a consistent ABABCC rhyme scheme. This regular pattern contributes to the musical quality of the poem and makes it easier to read and remember.

2. Humour and Irony

The overall tone of the poem is humorous and playful. The advice given is absurdly funny, such as identifying a chameleon by the fact that if you see nothing on a tree, it’s a chameleon due to its camouflage ability.

3. Imagery

The poet uses vivid imagery to help readers visualize the animals being described. For example:

  • The “large and tawny beast” for the Asian Lion.
  • “Black stripes on a yellow ground” for the Bengal Tiger.
  • “Hide with spots is peppered” for the Leopard.

4. Personification

Animals are given human-like qualities and actions, which adds to the humour:

  • The lion roaring “as you’re dyin’.”
  • The bear hugging you “very, very hard” and giving “one more caress.” (bear’s hug is described as a “caress”)

5. Alliteration

Alliteration is used to create a rhythmic flow and emphasize certain phrases:

  • Peppered” and “pain,” “lep and lep” in the Leopard stanza.
  • Hugs you very, very hard” in the Bear stanza.

6. Repetition

Repetition emphasizes the relentless nature of certain actions:

  • “Lep and lep again” for the Leopard.
  • “Very, very hard” for the Bear’s hug.

7. Juxtaposition

The poem uses juxtaposition to highlight contrasts between different animals. For example, the comparison between the crocodile and the hyena, with one known for “merry smiles” and the other for “weeping,” underscores their differing characteristics.

8. Metaphor

Metaphors are used to convey characteristics of the animals in a humorous way. “Crocodile tears” is a metaphor for fake sadness or insincere emotions, adding a layer of meaning to the crocodile’s description.

9. Meter

The poem is written in a regular metrical pattern, predominantly in iambic tetrameter, which contributes to its rhythmic and sing-song quality.

10. Tone

The tone of the poem is light-hearted and playful, using whimsical and exaggerated descriptions to entertain the reader while describing potentially dangerous animals.

11. Irony

Irony is a significant device in the poem. The advice given for identifying the animals often involves being attacked or eaten, which is humorously absurd. For instance, being eaten by a tiger or hugged to death by a bear are ironic ways to identify these animals.

12. Apostrophe

Although not a major feature, the poet addresses the reader directly with suggestions on how to identify the animals, creating an engaging and conversational tone.

By combining these poetic devices, Carolyn Wells creates a humorous and memorable poem that entertains while playfully instructing on how to identify wild animals.

General Poetic Devices:

  • Humor: The poem uses humor to describe dangerous encounters with wild animals.
  • Personification: Animals are given human-like qualities (e.g., hyenas smiling, crocodiles weeping).
  • Irony: The humorous and ironic ways of identifying animals (e.g., being eaten or hugged).

Overall Effect

The combination of these poetic devices creates a whimsical, entertaining, and memorable poem. The humour and irony, coupled with vivid imagery and rhythmic rhyme, make the poem engaging and enjoyable while also conveying information about the animals in a creative and amusing way.

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