Poetic Devices

Enumeration

The final stanza of the poem “How to Eat a Poem” by Eve Merriam contains an enumeration: 

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away. (ll. 8-14)

Here, the enumeration presents the difference between enjoying fruit and enjoying a poem. Unlike a fruit, which leaves elements that go to waste, a poem can be enjoyed as it is, without the reader having things to avoid parts or throw them away. This way, the enumeration suggests that readers can enjoy a poem’s meaning without worrying.

Another enumeration can be found in the second stanza:

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth. (ll. 6-7)

In this example, the enumeration introduces tools that can be used for eating. When eating fruit, people typi...

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