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Poets use diction to express a thought or to translate a message.

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Commentary on Fame, by Derek Walcott

Diana Gondwe

For: Mr. Jones

Due Date: September 4, 2003

Word Count:  1,002

        Poets use diction to express a thought or to translate a message.  Poets’ diction change according to they themselves, their characteristics, or the audience in which the poem is referring to.  Derek Walcott uses diction to certain varying degrees, to express a thought and to evoke emotion.  The poets’ diction is further cultivated when they use a certain style, imagery and the readers thoughts towards the mood.  The following paragraphs will narrate how diction, imagery, style, and mood are being used in this poem and how this affects the poem.

        Derek Walcott in the poem Fame uses an oxymoron to make his thought of fame and all the attachments to it is revealed in a different light.  The connotation of fame is of richness, partying, parading and lavishing in high-class activities.  However the poem itself does not show these attributes of fame, but illustrates emptiness, ass the poem says, “Sundays, an emptiness as in Balthus” (Lines 1-3).

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        Poets all have certain styles where everyone is writing to their abilities but are able to make their poems differ from others giving them an enjoyable learning.  When the poet is using these styles, they need to make a connection between their style and what they are, so that it is easier for their audience to understand and enjoy, giving the readers a sense of feeling.  The poets’ structure of the poem helps the theme, as in Fame. Walcott shows the real unimportance of Sunday at that moment.  He does not show great deal of detail in each line, each is short illustrating a quick but firm base; and the eagerness to get to a certain place, and that place being fame.  So the poets’ arrangements of his words chosen, helps in defining the message and making it very effective.

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        Poets use different words to express a feeling, and how they word their writing helps make it more effective.  Poets use metaphors, similes, and oxymoron to put their thoughts across.  Some make up these words and write them in invert Standard English word order, either to emphasize or create a mood, which cannot be done in Standard English.  Diction is important in writing because without thought messages cannot be transmitted effectively.  Furthermore, diction style structure, imagery and mood make a poem unique, giving different varieties to pick from, therefore making reading more enjoyable.


Walcott Derek, Fame.

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