Poetry has numerous meanings to people. Authors use various writing techniques to relate meanings of poems. According to Bedford/ St. Martin "Part of what makes poetry interesting is its indirectness, its refusal to state something simply as the way it is." W.H. Auden's "Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone," John Updike's "Ex-Basketball Player" and Donald Hall's "My Son, My Executioner" use irony, symbolism and hyperboles to show the meaning of their poems.
Irony is important to poets to relay the meaning of their poems. Irony refers to a difference between the way something appears and what is actually true. Auden uses a little irony in his poem. The speaker is ironic in that the wishes certainly cannot be fulfilled. Updike uses irony in his poem by talking about the ex-basketball player. Updike tells how good Flick Webb was at basketball, but ironically he works at a garage and on cars all day when he had such a talent for basketball.
Updike writes, "His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench. It makes no difference" (Updike 668). This line illustrates irony in that Flick is still so skilled with hands just like he is handling the ball but it does not matter when he uses tools. Hall uses irony when the speaker in the poem calls his son an executioner and wishing his son a sweet death. The speaker does not necessarily mean these things about his son but is rather comparing his son to an executioner.
Poets use symbolism to represent something by association in their poems.
Auden uses symbols in his poem by saying, "Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone" (Auden 541). This phrase symbolizes time because the speaker thinks time should stop since her lover died. In Hall's poem he...