We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Big Poppy

Big Poppy

  

by Ted Hughes

Analysis: Sound Check

Despite all the adjective-piling that we talk about in the "Calling Card" section of this analysis, this poem is actually full of pauses and shorter sentences. A lot of the lines are end-stopped, which means either that a sentence ends at the end of a line, or that the line ends with some other kind of punctuation that indicates that you should pause – a comma, or a hyphen.

So even in the middle of the longer sentences, we find ourselves taking a fair number of breaths. This makes the poem breathy, literally, which adds to its sex appeal (see "Sex Rating" – yipes!), and also slows the poem down just enough to keep it from becoming disorganized and entirely over-the-top. It produces, in other words, a kind of intensity that's somehow both hot as fire (the imagery helps with that one a good bit – see lines 10, 13-15) and quietly frantic. Think of someone whispering juicy gossip; you know, that kind of loud, excited whisper that fairly bubbles over with "get a load of THIS!"

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...