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mwolf31

Auto wreck

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author
karl shapiro:pulitzer prize winner and does not want a strong division btwn poetry and prose
narrator
witnesses of a car accident -more than one
setting
middle of the road, city street, towards night, right after the accident
summary
ambulance pulls up, takes all the people who are hurt, goes away in a hurry, people are stunned, cops are cleaning up the wreck, someone is taking notes on the accident, cannot talk because of shock, cannot move because of shock, witnesses think about who is going to die and whose fault it was, try to smile and be happy but cannot, traffic leaves but witnesses stay, they want to know more, lot of blood so someone could have died
metaphor
cars were compared to empty husks of locusts-empty of life
simile
throats were as tight as toutniquets-so shocked that they couldn’t speak
type of poem
free verse, narrative and dramatic
tone
understatement
irony
oxymoron- grim and joke
personification
ambulance doors leap open
mood
nervous stunned and horrified And serious
theme
bad things can happen to good people
many people are vulnerable
accidents can happen in an instant and people can die in an instant
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"Auto Wreck" Poem Analysis

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by

ana bahamonde

on 13 November 2015

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Transcript of "Auto Wreck" Poem Analysis

The doors leap open, emptying light;
Stretchers are laid out, the mangled lifted
And stowed into the little hospital.
Then the bell, breaking the hush, tolls once,
And the ambulance with its terrible cargo
Rocking, slightly rocking, moves away,
As the doors, an afterthought, are closed.
We are deranged, walking among the cops
Who sweep glass and are large and composed.
One is still making notes under the light.
One with a bucket douches ponds of blood
Into the street and gutter.
One hangs lanterns on the wrecks that cling,
Empty husks of locusts, to iron poles.
POEM ANALYSIS
"Auto Wreck"
by Karl Shapiro

Its quick soft silver bell beating, beating
And down the dark one ruby flare
Pulsing out red light like an artery,
The ambulance at top speed floating down
Past beacons and illuminated clocks
Wings in a heavy curve, dips down,
And brakes speed, entering the crowd.
Already old, the question. Who shall die?
Becomes unspoken Who is innocent?
For death in war is done by hands;
Suicide has cause and stillbirth, logic;
And cancer, simple as a flower, blooms.
But this invites the occult mind,
Cancels our physics with a sneer,
And spatters all we knew of denouement.
Across the expedient and wicked stones.

Our throats were tight as tourniquets,
Our feet were bound with splints, but now,
Like convalescents intimate and gauche,
We speak through sickly smiles and warn
With the stubborn saw of common sense,
The grim joke and the banal resolution.
The traffic moves around with care,
But we remain, touching a wound
That opens to our richest horror.

Answers
1.Title: Auto Wreck

2.Author: Shapiro

3.Point of View: First Person Plural "we"

4.Speaker: Bystander watching the accident

5. Situation: A car crash has caused deaths and others who are injured. Bystanders watch.
Analysis Questions
1. What is the title?

2.Who is the author?

3. Which point of view is it written in?

4. Who is the speaker?

5. What is the situation?
What is the poem´s Setting?
Context Clues:
"walking among cops", "sweep glass", "bucket douches pond of blood into the street", and "auto wreck"
What are the conflicts?
Context Clues:
"But we remain,touching a wound/ That opens to our richest horror/Who shall die?"
Imagery
Imagery
"soft silver bell beating, beating…pulsing out red light like an artery"
Imagery
"one with a bucket douches ponds of blood"
"Empty husks of locusts"
Hyperbole
"wings in a heavy curve"
Metaphor
Similie
What are the sound devices used?
Alliteration
soft, silver
bell beating
bell breaking
sickly smiles
stubborn saw
Onomatopoeia
Beating
Repetition/Anaphora
Beating, beating

Rocking, rocking
Imagery
Our throats were tight as tourniquets,
our feet were bound with splints, but now
like convalescents intimate and gauche
What is the tone?
Diction:
"artery", "mangled","terrible cargo", "deranged", "ponds of blood", "tourniquets", "splints", "sickly smiles","wound", "horror"
Answer
Morbid and depresssing
due to the negative connotations of the words
What is the significance of the title?
The title of "Auto Wreck" makes it evident that the poem is about a fatal accident or destruction
What is the Poet’s Purpose?
The author conveys the unpredicatbility of death. Death defies logic and that is why it is a constant presence among us.
Summary
The injured people from a fatal car accident are taken by the ambulance. Bystanders watch how the cops take notes and take the dead bodies away. Bystanders watch in horror and question the randomeness of death
Answer:
A street where there has been a car crash
Setting
Answer:
The second and third stanzas explore the emotions felt after a crash. The speaker is questoning the randomness and illogical nature of death by contrasting the crash with other forms of death (like cancer, war, suicide) that are more understandable.
SOUND DEVICES
EFFECT ON THE READER
The alliteration of "b" and "s" sounds create a steady driving movement. The poet is trying to immerse the reader into a melodious rythm, so the readers become the bystanders and are unable to distance themselves from the gripping accident. Furthermore, the onomatopoeia of "beating" gives the poem the effect of a heart beating, thereby reminding the reader of the vulnerable nature of human life.
Effect of Imagery
The first line of the poem introduces readers to the siren of an ambulance and compares it to a heart "beating, beating." The image is reinforced when the red light is described as "an artery". These provocative images convey the struggle for life. The victims of the death crash are clinging on to their lives waiting desperately for the ambulace to arrive and rescue them. The ambulace is described as an angelic figure that will save the lives of those who are on the verge of dying. Still further along the poem the auto wreck and lamp posts are compared to empty husks of locusts, thereby presenting the image of something that was alive but no longer has a purpose. This powerful imagery reinforces the tone of sorrow and horror.

Conflict
Metaphor
Metaphors
Similes

Full transcript

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