Exercise: finding and identifying rhetorical devices

Within your literary studies, you will sooner or later be confronted with the task of finding rhetorical devices. You should be aware that it is not enough to simply find a stylistic device. More importantly, you should be able to explain its significance for the specific text and its main idea. Nevertheless, the first struggle is to identify them. Therefore, you will find some selected verses of a poem in the following in which you can test and apply your knowledge about rhetorical devices. Watch this space for an upcoming overview of the devices you might come across here or in other poems.

Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins

If you want to read the entire poem and have a look at its visual appearance, have a look here. Note that this poem consists of several literary and philosophical allusions that you should also consider while analysing it. The focus of this exercise was to find rhetorical devices only. The visual appearance of the poem is another aspect you can think of. Why does the poem have so many shifts? What is its link to the content and main idea of the poem? These are questions you could and should think of while doing a literary analysis.