Literary Devices in Count That Day Lost

Literary Devices Examples in Count That Day Lost:

Text of the Poem 6

"Then..."   (Text of the Poem)

Note here the kind of cause and effect relationship that Eliot describes for doing good. She again takes the reader through the logical steps of benevolence with an “if...then” structure. In other words, if at the end of the day you have “cheered no heart” by any means of the phrase, then you can consider the day “lost.” The stakes of inaction are now much higher.

"Then..."   (Text of the Poem)

This stanza begins with an “if” that is resolved in the final line by a “then” statement. In this way, Eliot’s poem creates a rational argument. The poem’s style is plain because it is concerned with logic and the straightforward communication of a moral message, not extravagant artistry.

"trace..."   (Text of the Poem)

Unlike many abstract ethical teachings, this poem brings the concept of good deeds into the tangible realm. The use of the term “trace” here reminds us that seemingly insignificant acts of kindness can be measured and evidenced by their very real effects on another person. Rather than teaching morality through vague, inaccessible concepts, the poem expresses ideas in the realm of scientific or mathematical logic that can be “trace[d].”

"fell..."   (Text of the Poem)

The verb “fell” used in this line, is passive in the way that “glance” in the previous line is. Eliot uses repetition of passive verbs to remind the reader that selfless acts of kindness require very little effort from us. We can make someone’s day with a merely a kind glance in their direction.

"counting..."   (Text of the Poem)

Note again the use of monetary wording here. Considering the religious connotations present throughout the poem, the repetition here takes on the quality of a repeated prayer, similar to the practice of praying with a rosary or mantra. Repetitious prayer is used to deeply ingrain a lesson or idea through reiteration. Within this allegorical poem, the narrator repeats words to instill the moral lesson of the poem in the reader.

"count..."   (Text of the Poem)

Throughout the poem, Eliot repeatedly uses monetary language, such as the term “count” in this line and the following. As an allegorical poem, the goal of the work is to teach lessons in an accessible way so that readers can easily grasp the logic behind the moral teachings. The mathematical language further emphasizes the poem’s logical structure.