The Squirrel Poem Poetic Devices Explained

“The Squirrel” is a short poem by Mildred Bowers Armstrong. It has only one stanza that describes the squirrel and the interaction between the squirrel and people around it. The poetic devices used in the poem are explained here. These poetic devices effectively capture the playful and curious nature of the squirrel portrayed in the poem.

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Poem “The Squirrel”

He wore a question mark for tail,

An overcoat of gray,

He sat up straight to eat a nut.

He liked to tease and play,

And if we ran around his tree,

He went the other way.

Mildred Bowers Armstrong

Poetic devices in the Poem “The Squirrel”

The given stanza is from the poem “The Squirrel” by Mildred Bowers Armstrong. It is a four-line stanza with an AABB rhyme scheme, which means that the first- and second-lines rhyme with each other, and the third- and fourth-lines rhyme with each other.

The stanza also employs several poetic devices, which are:

  1. Rhyming scheme: The stanza follows an ABAB pattern in terms of end rhyme. The first and third lines do not rhyme, but the second- and fourth-lines end with the same sound (“gray” and “play”), creating a half-rhyme or slant rhyme.
  2. Metaphor: The line “He wore a question mark for tail” uses a metaphor to describe the shape of the squirrel’s tail, which resembles a question mark suggesting that the animal is curious and inquisitive.
  3. Personification: The lines “He liked to tease and play” and “And if we ran around his tree, He went the other way” personify the squirrel, attributing human-like qualities of playfulness and mischievousness to it.
  4. Alliteration: The line “An overcoat of gray” uses alliteration with the repetition of the “o” sound in “overcoat” and “gray.” The “w” sound in “wore a question mark for tail” and the “s” sound in “sat up straight to eat a nut” create a pleasing repetition of sounds.
  5. Repetition: The phrase “He” is repeated at the beginning of each line, which creates a rhythmic effect and emphasizes the squirrel as the subject of the stanza.
  6. Assonance: The “a” sound in “An overcoat of gray” and the “i” sound in “liked to tease and play” create a similar sound that adds musicality to the verse.

The poetic devices help the stanza effectively captures the playful and curious nature of the squirrel, using a variety of poetic devices to create a vivid and engaging image.

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