Auto Wreck

December 1, 2016 General Studies

As I grew up my parents used to tell me that everything happens for a reason. Intern, I thought to myself, what about all of the horrible things that happen? I soon realized that even though a bad event may occur it still does happen for a reason. Sometimes the bad events are used to teach a lesson to others. In the poem, Auto Wreck, by Karl Shapiro, Shapiro uses vivid details to display to the reader a disturbing car crash.

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In the first stanza, Shapiro portrays the urgency of the situation. In the first line Shapiro states, “It’s quick soft silver bells beating, beating”(L1). This statement is especially effective because of the alliteration, ” bells beating beating”. This brings the reader’s attention at first glance. The bells symbolize the siren of an ambulance arriving to the scene of the accident. Later in the first stanza Shapiro states, .

Yarborough 2.

“Pulsing out like an artery”(L2). This simile parallels the idea of a heart beating. The ambulance is keeping this person alive by keeping their heart beating. Another line that is quite effective is, “The doors leap open, emptying light”(B. Here, Shapiro uses personification when he states that” the doors leap open.” When this event occurs it is a sign of safety. The white light tends to bring comfort. In the first stanza Shapiro uses several different literary devices to make the scene of an accident more effective.

In stanzas two and three of Auto Wreck, Shapiro portrays a stiff, lackadaisical atmosphere. For example, in the first line of stanza two he states, “We are deranged, walking among the cops.” This shows the depression at the scene. This statement relates to those who have passed on watching the aftermath of the accident as ghosts. Another example, located in stanza three states, “With stubborn saw of common sense, the grim joke and banal resolution the traffic moves with care, But we remain touching a wound”(L26).

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