Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, THE TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS, by DAVID BAKER



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

THE TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"The Truth about Small Towns" is a poem by David Baker, first published in his 2011 collection "Never-Ending Birds." The poem explores the idea of small towns as places of secrets and the caution with which people speak in such communities.

Explanation:

"The Truth about Small Towns" by David Baker is a poem that explores the complexities of life in small towns. The poem begins by observing that while not everyone talks in small towns, somebody always does, and everyone listens. The poem goes on to describe small towns as places of secrets, where people are careful about what they say, and where the truth can be hard to come by

The poem also touches on the idea of small town politics and power dynamics, suggesting that those who hold power in small towns may use secrets and half-truths to maintain their position. The poem concludes with the speaker reflecting on the challenges of speaking truthfully in such communities and the difficulty of knowing what is real in a world of secrets and half-truths..

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: The poem is written in free verse, with no set rhyme scheme or meter.
  • Theme: The poem explores the theme of small towns as places of secrets and the challenges of speaking truthfully in such communities.
  • Imagery: The poem uses vivid imagery, such as the idea of small towns as "places of secrets" and the caution with which people speak in such communities.
  • Tone: The tone of the poem is reflective and contemplative.
  • Sound: The poem makes use of repetition, with the phrase "small towns" appearing several times throughout the poem.
  • Language: The language of the poem is straightforward and accessible, with a focus on concrete details.
  • Figurative language: The poem uses metaphor, with small towns serving as a metaphor for any community in which the truth can be difficult to discern.
  • Structure: The poem is divided into three stanzas, each of which consists of four lines.
  • Symbolism: Small towns serve as a symbolic representation of communities in which truth can be elusive.
  • Emotion: The poem conveys a sense of frustration and resignation at the difficulty of speaking truthfully in certain communities.

Conclusion:

"The Truth about Small Towns" is a poignant reflection on the challenges of speaking truthfully in communities where secrets are prized and caution is the norm. Through the use of vivid imagery and metaphor, David Baker captures the complexities and nuances of life in such communities.

Poem Snippet:

"It's not that everybody talks, but somebody

talks, and everybody listens. There's the rub.

Small towns have always been a place of secrets,

that's why everyone's so careful about what they say."

 


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