Messy Room: Poetry Analysis

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Poetry is the epitome of literary generosity! Ambitious and creative writers emerge from the shadows and shape our way of thinking on issues. Silverstein’s poem, Messy room, dramatically seizes our world’s reality. It cleverly provides a perky and agitated mood, when describing, a teenage room. I fancied this poem as it exemplified, that we often hold others liable for wrongdoings when we should be held accountable: hypocrisy. This poem empowers readers to speculate their own pitiable life choices and the hypocrisy present in everyone’s life (self-reflection).

Messy room relates to the reader as the poet embodies this teenager brimmed with hypocrisy and humour. Silverstein enriches this explicit and symbolic concept of this messy room being vastly filthy and sleazy: “And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall”. This superabundant use of description, hyperbole and alliteration of the letter ‘s’ within the words “smelly”, “sock” and “stuck” evoke this irritative and coarse nature in the boy as his room is constantly this way while endeavouring to make us feel a sense of commiseration towards him. The first person narration of, ‘I’, in the line, “Oh, dear, I knew it looked familiar” depicts the touching bond the teenager has with his room as he sees that he shouldn’t have questioned others since the room is his. These techniques develop bizarre feelings within readers through this song-like compelling poem.

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This poet presents himself as an indignant teenager through his decent structural development. The first line is repeated to emphasize his repulsion at the scene while trying to discover the culprit: “Whosever room this is should be ashamed!”. Readers visualize the disturbances of the teenager and relate to the poem through anaphoric expressions: ‘His’. Both techniques articulately reinforce this idea of deception evident throughout this comical poem and that the teenager firmly thinks this way about this shattered room. All four stanzas are composed of four equal lines of erratic uses of iambic pentameter to stress 5 syllables in 5 feet per line: “His underwear is hanging on the lamp”. This hits modern people vigorously, as it expresses the obsession we have with extra tasks rather than maintaining our lives, which shows that poetry is powerful. Therefore, the structural development prompts responses within us in this influential poem.

Messy room is reminiscent of a modern Dr Seuss. I will concentrate on utilizing my physical presence by pointing out different aspects of the room with gestures such as: “His sweater’s been thrown on the floor”. When describing one particular item of the room, I must change my tone to become disappointed. I will continue altering my tone to capture the variation between humour and disgust throughout. I will endeavour to emphasize the repetition of line 1 and the anaphoric expressions to capture the hypocrisy in our modern world and establish a rhythm and song pace. Furthermore, I am bound to entertain the audience by sustaining my eye contact, movement, pace, use of palm cards and the clarity of my voice, whilst also staying confident.

To conclude, Messy room, showcases just how powerful poems are, as it informs us about hypocrisy and deception being existent in our modern world and how this exquisite poem encourages us to self-reflect. All poems allow us to reflect on broader human experiences through their uses of literary techniques. 


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