Want to revise your language evaluation skills in 'Winter Swans'?
Hopefully, you know 'Winter Swans' well enough by now to be able to evaluate Sheer's choices of language in the poem. Now remember, evaluating language is actually quite simple if you break it down into these two points:
What attitudes are expressed by the poet, through this language choice?
What effect does this word have on you, the reader?
When we break up our language evaluation into these two points, it's easier to get into the nitty-gritty of word choice. It also helps to evaluate language by putting ourselves into the speaker of the poem's shoes. Why does the poet use specific words and what is the effect of these words?
Here's an example of language evaluation to get you going. Don't worry, you won't have to do anything as long as this in the exercise.
Sheers uses the simile "like a pair of wings settling after flight". This suggests that the swans the couple have witnessed have influenced and impacted the couple's unification. The attitudes expressed by Sheers exemplify the relationship between nature and humanity; better yet, nature seems to influence unification and harmony between the couple, making them closer to each other.
You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.