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Literary Devices in After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes

Literary Devices Examples in After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes:

Text of the Poem

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"Quartz contentment..."   (Text of the Poem)

Similar to “formal feeling” earlier, this noun phrase is an oxymoron, or a pair of markedly contradictory terms used for emphasis. “Quartz” is a common rock-forming mineral with a rigid crystalline structure. “Contentment” refers to a state of being satisfied and happy. So, “contentment” suggests a positive feeling while “Quartz” suggests no feeling at all. The speaker’s choice creates a powerful, striking metaphor for how paralyzed the great pain has made her.

"Heart..."   (Text of the Poem)

The speaker personifies another part of the body in this line by referring to the “Heart” as if it could speak. To speak of a heart as “stiff” seems oxymoronic, because a living heart is in constant, regular, necessary motion. The adjective then connects the heart to the nerves and the “great pain” to demonstrate the shock that has penetrated the living components of the speaker, almost causing them to cease functioning.

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