A good poem does not need superb text; it needs superb use of poetic techniques and a good structure. 'Prayer before birth' is a fine example of a good poem; however, the text is superb too.
My self response for this poem was first negative but afterwards I agreed with some points. However, I felt angry when the author expects water to support him and trees to talk to him, but afterwards going in the depths of this stanza it seemed real. Everybody in the world wants things or people to support them or to talk to them. Everyone fears something in their life, and for the author, they were bats, stoats and ghouls.
'Prayer before birth' is not only the title but a summarizing phrase for the poem. Just having a glimpse of the title we know that what the poem is about. This poems theme is to tell the reader how terrible the world is and he is the witness.
The author wants to convince the reader that when an innocent baby is born into this miserable world. He thinks that the baby does not deserve to be in this kind of a world. And, the author transforms himself to a baby and desires to die rather than getting born to such a world. The tone describes this misery in detail. The tone is surely tells us that he is in pain, in frustration, in misery. The tone is furthered described by imagery as he says 'Black racks rack me' and '...make me a stone', these all are tactile imagery. The author can feel the pain of torture.
The author uses poetic techniques in his poem such as figurative language and symbolism and personification and emotive words and repetition. Words such as bloodsucking bat, the rat and the...