"Time" by Robert W. Vissage

Essay by [ViPeR]High School, 11th gradeA+, March 1996

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Have you ever pondered about what an important role time plays in our lives? Have you ever thought about how you would go about describing time to someone who had not ever even heard of the concept of time? These two questions have been thought about by poets and often become the subject of their poems. The poem 'Time' by Robert W. Vissage and the poem also entitled 'Time' by an anonymous author do a good job of describing the abstract concept of time, however in very different ways.

The different literary devices used in these two poems greatly helps their description of the abstract concept of time. The most important literary device in the poem by Robert W. Vissage is imagery. Mr. Vissage almost exclusively uses imagery in the last stanza of his poem. 'Enough will turn hard rock to dust'(line 7). In this line the image of the disintegration of the rock gives the reader a sense of the destructive power that time can have.

Vissage uses a similar image in the next line of the poem to again state the awesome power of time.

The most important literary device used in the poem by the anonymous author is that of paradoxes. Each idea introduced into the poem is a paradox. Take the following lines,

'Time is a devil.

That leads you to sin.

Time is an angel.

That helps you to win.'(lines 19-22).

In these lines we see one of the many paradoxes used by the author. These paradoxes help the reader gain a better understanding of time by showing the give and take of time. They show that time is both a hater and a lover, a killer and a creator. These are just two of the many literary devices used...