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Lineage by Margaret Walker

panmit 3 / 5  
Jan 10, 2009   #1
My grandmothers were strong.
They followed plows and bent to toil.
They moved through fields sowing seed.
They touched earth and grain grew.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.


I am trying to identify literary terms that helps bring out the theme of the poem (i.e. rhythm, syntax, personification, etc.)

I only could find one: syntax: "Why am I not as they?"; but I cannot analytically explain this term well.

Thanks in advance :)

P.S. I'm just in 9th grade honors; so I do not know many of the higher standard critical formats and terms that I will use later on in my lifetime.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 10, 2009   #2
Some literary devices you might want to consider discussing:

Anaphora: repetition at the beginning of lines, in this case "They" and "My grandmothers," which serves to keep the focus on the grandmothers as the subject of the poem until the very end.

Alliteration: "sowing seed," "grain grew," "sturdiness and singing," "rolling roughly"

Meter (rhythm): This poem doesn't really seem to have a consistent meter. A lack of consistent meter is a deliberate choice that requires explanation as much as the presence of a consistent meter would have. Also, break down the poem into stressed and unstressed syllables, and see if you can detect places where the poem slips into meter. The second line, for instance, is essentially iambic. Then ask yourself why the poet chose to use meter in those places.

The shift from past to present tense between stanzas. I don't know if this has a name, exactly, but it is clearly also a deliberate choice by Walker that qualifies as a poetic device.

Hopefully these will give you a good place to start.
4ever2bleed 9 / 28  
Jan 15, 2009   #3
I recently did this same exact poem my junior year.
silverystars 14 / 105  
Jan 26, 2009   #4
"My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?"

What sad words those can be.
MChen 1 / 2  
Feb 1, 2009   #5
It is a very touching poem.
Sad, peaceful, and admiring.
Feb 6, 2011   #6
Lineage by Margaret Walker - the uses of poetic devices in this poem?

What are the uses of poetic devices in this poem?

My grandmothers were strong.
They followed plows and ...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 9, 2011   #7
I'm not telling!

You can't just post assignments here to avoid doing the work. If you are willing to spend some time learning a little about the terminology they are trying to teach you, write a little list of the terms being discussed in class. The poetic devices, I mean.

List some of them, give a little sentence of explanation for each, and then people can give you their ideas about whether you chose the right ones.

I have to remove the poem, too. Please don't post stuff that appears on other websites! :-)

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