Study Guide

The Guitarist Tunes Up Summary

By Frances Cornford

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The Guitarist Tunes Up Summary

Don't blink, folks. This one is over before you can say "air-guitar."

Frances Cornford's "The Guitarist Tunes Up" is essentially a speaker's observation of (surprise, surprise) a guitarist tuning his guitar. In a single eight-line stanza, the speaker recounts how the musician bends over his guitar to tune it before beginning to play.

Even though this poem is very short, it's packed with figurative language like simile and metaphor. Which is a good thing, because without figurative language this would just be a description of a guy tuning his guitar (and you'd be well on your way through another poem by now). But by using simile and metaphor, Cornford is able to turn the fairly mundane task of guitar tuning into something much more interesting and maybe even a little racy.

See, the speaker compares the guitarist bending and listening intently to his instrument to "a man with a loved woman." Now what could be boring about that?

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