In his poem “Building an Outhouse” by Ronald Wallace

In his poem “Building an Outhouse” by Ronald Wallace, he uses simile to compare constructing a poem to how a outhouse is built. He starts with “Is not unlike building a poem” (line 1) referring to the way a poem is created as to a outhouse. You must have a plan in the way you want to craft it throughout, each word must have meaning in the same way each board and nail does. Wallace goes on to talk about the materials of the outhouse “and tenpenny nail, of floor joist, stud wall” (line 3). Similar to this you must be good with words and the way you use them to craft this poem. He compares it to a poem later on when he says “let the nub of you plainspoken pencil prevail” (line 11). Use the tool you are given properly, keep working on your craftsmanship with the tools you are given in order to craft masterpieces. The poem ends with “It will last forever (or at least for a while)/though critics come sit on it, and sit on it” (line 13-14). When you have created your masterpiece, similar to a outhouse, if it is perfected and crafted with the best material it will be there for others to read, and as it says your critics will be there to critique your work.


In his short poem “Making it in poetry,” Bob Hicok uses small checks as a symbol to represent him being a poet in the making. This short poem is about 11 lines focusing on the message that, some poets do not receive the recognition that they deserve and the fact that making it in the poetry world is tough. The author mentioned that the teller asked “why so many small checks from universities,” (line 3-5). The speaker mentioned that this was because he write “poems”. Lines 3-5 describes that being poet will cause small amount of money coming in maybe and sometime unrecognition. In the result of unrecognition, the teller asked ” why haven’t I heard of you,” (line 8). The speaker proceeded to mention he write “poems”.  Small checks and being a poet is a symbol used by Hicok to let us understand the cons of doing poetry and that doing poetry could lead to unrecognition and low profit depending on how well known of a poet are you. 

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