The Style of James K Baxter with reference to at least two of his poems.

Essay by slim_shady_1College, UndergraduateB-, July 2003

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In the poems 'Rocket Show' and 'Wild Bees' written by James K. Baxter, the style he uses is distinctive from other poets and is very memorable.

Baxter's poems contain a lot of imagery from nature. Most of his similes and metaphors come from something in the nature. This also one of the reasons why Baxter is different from other poets - most of his writing is very simplistic. He heavily relies on similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, paradoxes, alliteration and allusions.

In the Wild Bees, he talks about a situation when he and his friend go out to smoke a beehive one evening to get the honey from it. The very simple language makes it easy for the average reader to understand Baxter's thoughts and what he is thinking. The allusion of a 'safe Ophelia' shows us his knowledge of the great Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, where Ophelia, Hamlet's girlfriend, went mad before drowning in a lake.

Then he describes the bees as they are working in 'passionless industry'. The automatic reaction of the bees to just work, work, work interests Baxter. The simple devices such as similes, metaphors and alliteration put him on the same level as the reader so that it becomes easy for him to understand his feelings and thoughts. Similes like 'wild bees as swift as tigers' and 'eyes like plundering desperadoes' are not that difficult to understand and the eloquent Baxter instantly conveys his ideas without any snag. Powerful and creative metaphors such as '... their sentries saw us ...' and the 'wounded sky' also capture our imagination. The wounded sky creates the impression of the red sky and that he is waiting for dark before they smoke the bees out. Again, an example of an onomatopoeia is seen that comes from nature - 'crickets...