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Leaving Your City: Analysis

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The Poem that I chose to analyze is Agha Shahid Ali's titled Leaving Your City. This is a very appropriate choice of title because it clarifies and helps you to understand the movement of the poem. We have the writer and another character meeting and spending time together and then they are not together and the title helps us to understand that the writer has left the city of the newly met companion. Also the title is not stated with in the poem and is not a real clichй title so I believe that that makes it work even better.

The way Ali has broken up this poem is very interesting. He makes use of full sentences and only uses capitalization at the beginning of each sentence. However the way that each stanza is broken up puts a great deal of emphasis on specific lines throughout the poem. There is also enjambment throughout the entire poem and it makes you keep reading a sentence and at the same time has you look at the line the reader just read more carefully. There is also a great deal of end-stopped lines and line breaks which introduce an unexpected emphasis. There is one line that is just one word, the word meticulous, and that word alone really paints the picture of the nameless character that is involved in someway with the speaker. The way you are forced to read allows for a great reading experience.

Ali pulls together very unlike images and makes them work very well together. The images however seem to be somewhat abstract. The stanza that really stands out to me is

"you sharpened the knife

on the moon's surface,

polished it with lunatic silver." (Ali) This is just very uncertain and it makes the reader have to think about what the speaker is saying. There are just so many different ways in which you can deduce that set of lines, which is definitely a good thing because then the reader definitely has their own interpretation and experience of the writing. The speaker never uses a simile flat out but everything that the speaker says is very important because there are so many events and movements that take place in this piece, yet it is all withered down to a few precise words that encapsulate everything the speaker is trying to convey.

The tone that the speaker sets is also very important to the reader empathizing. From the beginning the reader seems to be looking into



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