Richard Wilbur's "Death of a Toad" Analytical Essay by The Research Group

Richard Wilbur's "Death of a Toad"
This paper presents an explication of Richard Wilbur's poem on death, modern life and faith "Death of a Toad."
# 18384 | 1,125 words | 1 source | 1990 | US
Published on Mar 21, 2003 in Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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From the Paper:

"This paper presents an explication of Richard Wilbur's "Death of a Toad." This poem is concerned with the subject of death, a statement which may only serve to belabor the obvious. However, this poem has elements that are not so readily evident, with its unusual forms of irony, paradox, and imagery. The succinctness of the poem cuts like a knife as does the fact of death itself. There is pain in the first line of the poem, and the death which follows acts to blunt the trauma of it all.

Plot, Irony, Paradox and Symbolic Language
Yet, despite the presence of death, there is considerable action in the first lines of the poem: "A toad the power mower caught,/Chewed and clipped of a leg, with a hobbling hop has got/To the garden verge, and sanctuaried him/Under the cineraria leaves . . ." The power mower has no personality, nor are we ... "

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