These two poems may be very different but they have somethings that are in common. One of which is that cars are sort of the topic of conversation. In the First poem by e.e. cummings the person is talking about how much he loves his car. “it was the first ride and beleive i was happy to see how nice and acted right up to the last minute coming back down by the Public Gardens I slammed on the internalexpanding externalexpanding breaks Bothatonce and brought all of her tremBling”. When first reading, it is possible to think that the man is just talking about his ride. The tone in which he is portraying this is in a sexual manner.

In the second poem by Phillip Levine has a different metaphor for what cars represent, especially in Detroit. There was a lot happening in Detroit and that has much to do with the message he is trying to portray. when he talks about “The city pouring fire Ford Rouge sulfurs the sun, Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevy grey.” he is talking about how the factories have led Detroit to be filled with the factory smoke of the car factories that spew fire from their exhausts. When he says “The charred faces, the eyes boarded up, the rubble on innards, the cry of wet smoke hanging in your throat, the twisted river stopped at the color of iron. We burn this city every day.” he is saying that the race war did not burn this city. It was everything that people did and these factories are doing that burned the city.

One thought on “RR5:Metaphors

  1. rmichals

    I think the last point you made is very insightful. When Levine writes We burn this city everyday-the we is not the rioters but us the readers and the writer-those of us who have enjoyed the cars produced by the city while ignoring the miserable conditions there.


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