Pearls: The Voice of a Child

As I was preparing for the exam, I re-encountered the poem “Pearls”, and was once again astounded by the beautiful use of language of the poet. In the poem Pearls, the poet Lee Ann Roripaugh illustrates a strong voice of a child. This poem discusses a very simple and clear topic, and is perfectly suitable for the perspectives of a child. Even though adults readers may have different and deeper interpretations for the poem, the author achieves the child voice by doing what a child is supposed to do: report facts and let the adults figure out the profound meaning of them.  In addition, the style of the poem is distinctive. For diction, the poet mainly chooses simple and conversational vocabulary. For sentence structure, the poet writes direct and declarative sentences without complex grammatical structures. For content, the poet creates a sense of conversation in this poem and there are some sentences that seem to be naïve yet truly authentic for a child, such as “I hope/ she doesn’t buy a ticket, go back/ to her sisters and leave me.” In general, Roripaugh successfully creates the voice of a child in her poem, while maintains the beauty of poetry.


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