Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, CAIRO JAG, by KEITH CASTELLAINE DOUGLAS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

CAIRO JAG, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Cairo Jag" is a poem by Keith Castellain Douglas, written in 1941 during World War II.

The central theme of the poem is the struggle between indulgence and self-control, and the temptation to escape reality through alcohol or food. The poem explores the tension between pleasure and responsibility, and the consequences of giving in to one's desires.

Poetic Elements:

Theme: The central theme of the poem is the conflict between indulgence and self-control.

Imagery: The poem contains several examples of vivid imagery, such as the image of "a black river of wine" and "a slab of rich cake," which create a sensory experience for the reader.

Tone: The tone of the poem is contemplative and reflective, as the speaker considers their options and their consequences.

Diction: The language used in the poem is simple and direct, with few complex words or phrases. This helps to convey the immediacy of the speaker's dilemma.

Figurative language: The poem contains several examples of figurative language, such as the use of metaphor in "wine like a snake" to describe the seductive nature of alcohol.

Symbolism: The choice between getting drunk and cutting a piece of cake is a powerful symbol of the tension between indulgence and restraint.

Structure: The poem is divided into two stanzas, each presenting a different option. This helps to create a sense of contrast and tension.

Sound: The poem has a musical quality, with the use of repetition and rhythm creating a sense of harmony and balance.

Point of view: The poem is written from the perspective of the speaker, who is struggling to make a decision.

Irony: The final line of the poem contains an ironic twist, where the speaker acknowledges the absurdity of their dilemma and the ultimate futility of their decision.


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