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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

LAMA, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Lama" is a poem written by Ogden Nash, an American poet known for his humorous and playful verse. The poem was first published in 1937 as part of Nash's collection "The Private Dining Room and Other Verses." The title of the poem suggests that it is a lighthearted exploration of the characteristics and behavior of a lama.

Context:

The historical context of the poem is the mid-20th century in America, a time when the country was undergoing significant social and cultural changes. The poem reflects Nash's playful and irreverent approach to poetry, as well as his skill in using language to create humorous and memorable images.

Content:

The poem consists of several stanzas, each consisting of varying numbers of lines. The speaker describes the characteristics and behavior of a lama, using humor and exaggeration to create comic effect.

The speaker describes the lama as a "woolly goof" with a "vacant smile," and emphasizes its tendency to chew on things, including "old tin cans" and "broken bottles." The speaker also uses humor to describe the lama's behaviors, such as its "eccentric gallop" and its tendency to "hum a lullaby" to itself.

Form:

The poem is written in a free verse style, with no strict meter or rhyme scheme. The use of short lines and frequent pauses contributes to the poem's playful and rhythmic tone, as well as its musical quality.

Poetic Elements:

The poem makes use of various poetic techniques and devices, including metaphor, imagery, and humor. The use of metaphor is particularly prominent, as the speaker compares the lama to a "woolly goof" and emphasizes its playful and curious nature. The use of imagery also contributes to the poem's vivid and memorable descriptions, while the use of humor adds a playful and lighthearted tone to the poem.

Summary:

"Lama" can be seen as a humorous and playful exploration of the characteristics and behavior of a lama, using language and poetic techniques to create comic effect. The poem reflects Nash's skill as a poet and humorist, and is a valuable contribution to the genre of humorous poetry. Its use of humor and vivid imagery make it a memorable and enjoyable read, while also highlighting the playful and curious nature of these animals.

Poem Snippet:

 

"He likes to chew on broken bottles,

And old, dismantled throttle.

His eccentric gallop has a touch of glide,

And he hums a lullaby inside."

 

 


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