Analyzing Poetry

by Caijah Anderson

Downstairs in Dreams by Chase Twichell

Trying to fall asleep,
I count down stone steps
into the dark, and there they are:
Centaurs, half in and half out
of the woods, hindquarters still trees.
Downstairs in dreams I look
directly into their man-eyes,
which are opaque, absorbent.
They don’t speak. I don’t speak
of the long yellow teeth tearing off
the little dress—just for a glimpse,
no harm done. No hands, no harm.
Their hindquarters still trees.
No words to explain or contain it.
You can’t translate something
that was never in a language
in the first place.

Poetic Devices

Theme: Dreams

Meaning: Sometimes you can't explain dreams because there is no such language for it.

- " I count down stone steps..." is figurative language.

- A lot of repetition here.

- "..opaque and absorbent....long yellow teeth...little dress..." are sensory details.

- "Hindquarters still trees.." is a metaphor.

In My Dreams by Stevie Smith

In my dreams I am always saying goodbye and riding away,

Whither and why I know not nor do I care.

And the parting is sweet and the parting over is sweeter,

And sweetest of all is the night and the rushing air.


In my dreams they are always waving their hands and saying goodbye,

And they give me the stirrup cup and I smile as I drink,

I am glad the journey is set, I am glad I am going,

I am glad, I am glad, that my friends don't know what I think.

Poetic Devices

Theme: Dreams

Meaning: There isn't really a meaning, the poet is just saying that he has sweet dreams but doesn't want anyone to know what he dreams.

- Some repetition

- The stirrup cup is symbolizing that he is about to journey. He also says it in the poem.

- "Whither and why....not nor" are assonances and consonances.

Compare/Contrast

-both were about dreams

-both had repetition in them

- poets of both are men

- the first poem was about a nightmare

- second poem was about pleasant dreams