In Training, By Helen Lawson

Essay by jimbojanglesJunior High, 9th gradeB+, August 2009

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Helen Lawson uses a number of sound and picture devices in the poem "In Training". How do they help us to enhance her description of the swimmer and the river?We have all seen a swimmer racing at all sports competition before, "In Training", by Helen Lawson brings back the thoughts in our memory but moves the background setting to a calm, smooth river in the morning. The poem uses a series of sound and picture devices to help us imagine the swimmer powering through the water. Lawson explains the swimmer's movements and uses extensive comparisons to help produce detailed pictures in the reader's mind.

Similes are a comparison between two people, places or things. This helps to create a picture in the reader's mind of what the poet is portraying. There are a number of similes in the poem,"…leaves/ that hang like a veil", refer to a series of branches drooping over the river to resemble a veil.

"Like a velvet glove", describes the river gently folding over her as she dives into the cool water of the river. "…velvet glove", pictures the water grasping onto her as she streamlines underwater. These similes help to describe the image of the swimmer by relating to similar objects.

Metaphors are used effectively in this poem to make a more direct comparison. These metaphors help in describing the swimmer and her surrounding with more detail. "Over the glass ribbon" portrays the river's water to look clear and "glassy like in appearance". "Then she is an engine" describes the swimmer powering through the water. Just like an engine, as she swims through the water her body moves in a repetitive and rhythmic way. Also, for an engine to function all the parts need to work together. The swimmer uses her legs and...