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Analysis of a Poem The Secretary Chant

The Secretary Chant by Marge Piercy

This poetry is a free verse. The poetic foot of every line shall be recognized in accordance with syllables or phrases since one line cannot be generalized as “iambic pentameter,” for example, since the strains are irregular. The Secretary chant has no common pattern like this (Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73):

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ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ´
That time ⁄ of yr ⁄ thou mayst ⁄ in me ⁄ be hold ⁄

ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´
My hips ⁄ are a desk. ║
Foot: Iambic, Anapestic
Meter: Dimeter
5 syllables
ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
From my ears ⁄ ║ hang
Foot: Anapestic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Dimeter
4 syllables
ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ
chains of ⁄ pa per clips.


Foot: Pyrrhic, Dactylic
Meter: Dimeter
5 syllables

´ ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ ´
Rub ber bands ⁄ kind my hair. ║
Foot: Dactylic, Anapestic
Meter: Dimeter
6 syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ˇ
My breasts ⁄ are wells ⁄ of mim ⁄ eo graph ⁄ ink. ║
Foot: Iambic, Iambic, Iambic, Pyrrhic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Pentameter
9 syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ
My toes ⁄ bear ⁄ cast ers. ║
Foot: Iambic, Pyrrhic, Trochaic
Meter: Trimeter
5 syllables
´ ´
Buzz. ⁄║ Click. ║
Foot: Spondaic, Spondaic
Meter: Dimeter
2 syllables
ˇ ´
My Head
Foot: Iambic
Meter: Monometer
2 syllables

ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´
is a ⁄ bad ly ⁄ or ga nized ⁄ file.


Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic, Dactylic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Tetrameter
eight syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
My head ⁄ is a ⁄ swap board ║
Foot: Iambic, Pyrrhic, Trochaic
Meter: Trimeter
6 syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ
the place ⁄ crossed lines ⁄ crack le. ║
Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic, Trochaic
Meter: Trimeter
5 syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ
My head ⁄ is a ⁄ waste bas ket
Foot: Iambic, Pyrrhic, Dactylic
Meter: Trimeter
7 syllables
ˇ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
of worn ⁄ i de ⁄ as. ║
Foot: Pyrrhic, Iambic, Pyrrhic,
Meter: Trimeter
5 syllables

ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
Press my ⁄ fin gers
Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic
Meter: Dimeter
four syllables
ˇ ˇ ´ ´ ˇ ˇ
and in ⁄ my eyes ⁄ ap pear
Foot: Pyrrhic, Spondaic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Trimeter
6 syllables
´ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
cred it ⁄║ and ⁄ deb it. ║
Foot: Trochaic, Pyrrhic, Trochaic,
Meter: Trimeter
5 syllables
´ ´ ˇ
Zing. ⁄║ Tin kle. ║
Foot: Spondaic, Trochaic
Meter: Dimeter
3 syllables
ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ´ ˇ
My ⁄ na vel ⁄ is a ⁄ rej ect ⁄ however ton.║
Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic, Pyrrhic, Trochaic, Trochaic
Meter: Pentameter
9 syllables

ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ
From my mouth ⁄ is sue ⁄ can celed ⁄ reams.║
Foot: Anapestic, Pyrrhic, Trochaic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Tetrameter
eight syllables
´ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ
Swol len, ⁄ ║ heav y, ⁄║ rec tan ⁄ gu lar ║
Foot: Trochaic, Trochaic, Iambic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Tetrameter
8 syllables
ˇ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
I am ⁄ a bout ⁄ to be ⁄ de liv ⁄ ered
Foot: Pyrrhic, Iambic, Pyrrhic, Iambic, Pyrrhic
Meter: Pentameter
9 syllables
ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ
of a ⁄ ba by
Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic
Meter: Dimeter
four syllables
´ ˇ ˇ ´
xe rox ⁄ ma chine. ║
Foot: Trochaic, Iambic
Meter: Dimeter
4 syllables

´ ˇ ˇ ˇ ´ ˇ ˇ
File me ⁄ un der ⁄ W ║
Foot: Trochaic, Pyrrhic, Dactylic
Meter: Trimeter
7 syllables
ˇ ˇ ˇ ´
be trigger ⁄ I once ║
Foot: Pyrrhic, Iambic,
Meter: Dimeter
four syllables
´
was ║
Foot: Spondaic
Meter: Monometer
1 syllable
ˇ ´ ˇ
a ⁄ wom an. ║
Foot: Pyrrhic, Trochaic
Meter: Dimeter
three syllables

Legend
Scansion:
ˇ = unaccented syllable
´ = accented syllable
⁄ = break between poetic feet
║ = caesura or metrical pause

Foot:

  • Iambic: unaccented/accented (destroy)
  • Anapestic: unaccented/unaccented/accented (intervene)
  • Trochaic: accented/unaccented (topsy)
  • Dactylic: accented/unaccented/unaccented (merrily)
  • Spondaic: accented/accented (or one confused syllable)
  • Pyrrhic: unaccented/unaccented (or one unstressed syllable)

Meter

  • One foot: Monometer
  • Two feet: Dimeter
  • Three ft: Trimeter
  • Four feet: Tetrameter
  • Five ft: Pentameter

The Secretary Chant is a free verse as a result of it has no fixed or common sample of sound and structure. It may be analyzed according to sound, image, and construction. Poetic sound includes alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme, repetition, meter, and rhythm created from emphasizing sure syllables (see the scansion part for meter and rhythm. In analyzing the method it creates an image, examples of metaphor, personification, and imagery will be identified. Simile is a comparability between two in distinction to issues using “like” or “as” however Piercy does not use any instance in this literary piece. When it involves construction, the line breaks are scattered and there is solely one stanza.

Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds or beginning of two or more neighboring words or syllables within strains. Piercy’s examples of alliteration in the poem are seen in traces “crossed traces crackle” by which she repeats “cr” and “My head is a wastebasket of worn ideas” by which she repeats “w”. Onomatopoeia is using a word or grouping of words that imitates the precise sound to which it refers or describes.

Assuming that the objects are discovered in the office, she uses the phrases buzz (which could symbolize a buzzer either on a desk or at the door), click (which could represent clips, retractable pen or lock), zing (which might represent typewriter or passing vehicles if the workplace is near the street), and tinkle (which may characterize buttons or keys of a telephone, fax machine, bell, coin, chime). Rhyme is the repetition of sound at the finish of words or lines. The rhyming words are present in one line and these are “credit” and “debit”.

Repetition is a means of repeating phrases or phrases to emphasize a point or sound. Piercy used the phrase “My head is a” thrice:

  1. My head is a badly organized file,
  2. My head is a switchboard where crossed lines crackle, and
  3. My head is a wastebasket of worn concepts. Metaphor is a comparability between two not like issues. Piercy related a woman’s (speaker of the poem)

body half with objects present in an workplace:

  1. My hips are a desk,
  2. My breasts are wells of mimeograph ink,
  3. My head is a badly organized file,
  4. My head is a switchboard,
  5. My head is a wastebasket, and
  6. My navel is a reject button.

Personification is giving inanimate objects human qualities. In the line “I am about to be delivered of a baby xerox machine, the word “baby” isn’t what makes the Xerox machine have human characteristics as a end result of it may imply small or new. Piercy actually means that the Xerox machine will ship the secretary. However, it could be interpreted as the secretary is kind of like a product of a Xerox machine as a end result of she might have felt that she retains on doing the same actions or producing comparable outcomes within the office on a daily basis.

Imagery is the use of sturdy verbs, specific nouns and adjectives to gives the reader a sensory experience. Examples could be seen in the following lines:

  1. From my ears hold chains of paper clips,
  2. Rubber bands form my hair,
  3. My toes bear casters,
  4. in my eyes seem credit score and debit, and
  5. From my mouth problem canceled reams.

These pictures aren’t one thing normal or widespread. Piercy makes use of these pictures to emphasise the objects in an workplace and show that the secretary is preoccupied and busy together with her tasks within the workplace.

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