we Poetic Devices in a Government Driver on his Retirement by Onu Kingsley Chibuike ~ Naija Poets


The obvious and simple to remember  among the poetic devices embedded in the poem are (a) synecdoche (b) euphemism (c) repetition (d) imagery (e) anastrophe (f) alliteration (g) enjambment (h) irony (i) onomatopoeia (j) assonance

Synecdoche; representing a whole with part or part with whole. In the poem, there's "like a snake without a head" in line 10, " Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe" in line 19, “Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake" in line 20.

Euphemism; is a practice of replacing a harsh word with a very mild one in a work of art. Example of euphemism in the poem can be found in line 32 - 33:
"And it sent him home
Home to rest in peace".

The word "Home" is used as a replacement for death.

Repetition; is a poetic device where certain words, phrases, lines, or verses are repeated twice or more to create a sing-song rhythm or emphasis in a poem. Just for mentioning sake, few words repeated in the poem are “wheels” in line 1 and 29. “home” in line 3, 10 and 17. Repetition of phrase such as “...faithful service to his fatherland” in line 2 and 27. "Come, friends, rejoice..." in line 9 and 21.

 Imagery; using words or expressions to created mental picture in a poem so the readers can see, smell, feel the event clearer. Few in the poem are "faithful service" in line 2, "his boozy throat" in line 5, "Eligible for his country's services" in line 8.

Anastrophe; reversing the word order as to add some levels of effect to expression or line in a poem; it can also be called inversion. In line 3 is "Today retires he home" and in line 13 is "Early to duty tomorrow holds not".

Alliteration; successive use of consonant sounds within a line or two in a poem. "In faithful service to his fatherland” in line 2, “he home” in line 3, “In obedience to duty rules and regulations” in line 6, “Come celebrate my freedom” in line 12, "Booze boozed his vision and clear judgment" in line 30.

Enjambment; flow of idea from more than a line in poetry (run-on-line). This poetic device is evident in the poem "A Government Driver On His Retirement".

Irony; expresses one's meaning by employing a language that normally signifies its opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. In the poem A Government Driver On His Retirement, the emphasis placed on going home is an irony.

Onomatopoeiaforming word from a sound associated with what is named. In poem, "zoom" found in line 10, which is a sound made by car is used to represent the word "drive". "Boomed" found in line 31, which is a sound for explosion is used to represent a crash.

Assonancerepeating vowel sounds within lines. "I shall booze and zoom myself home" in line 10.

Pun; also paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. An example is in line 26 "Celebrating the celebration..." and in line 30 "Booze boozed his vision..."


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