Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

Can someone PLEASE explain what this poem means?

I just read this poem, and I really don't understand it, will someone be willing to explain it? Also, what are some of the poetic devices in this poem?

Coup de Grace

Just at the moment the Wolf,

Shag jaws and slavering grin

Steps from the property wood,

Oh, what a gorge, what a gulf

Opens to gobble her in.

Little Red Riding Hood!

O, what a face full of fangs!

Eyes like saucers at least

Roll on seduce and beguile.

Miss, with her dimples and bangs,

Thinks him a handsome beast;

Flashes the Riding hood smile;

Stands her ground like a queen,

Velvet red of the rose

Framing each little milk tooth

Pink tongue peeping between.

Then, wider than anyone knows,

Opens her minikin mouth

Swallows up Wolf in a trice;

Tail going down gives a flick,

Caught as she closes her jaws.

Bows, all sugar and spice.

O, what a ladylike trick!

O, what a round pf applause!

2 Answers

  • Elbie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    For some reason, there is very limited information on the Internet about this poem. The Coup de Grace by Edward Rowland Sill was first published in Volume 57 of the Atlantic Monthly in 1886; however, because he evidently had two different poems written under the same title name, the one published in 1886 could have been the other.

    The Coup de Grace is, of course, a modern interpretation by Sill, the author, of the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, written in the form of poetry. In his version, Little Red Riding Hood is no longer the victim but becomes the victor by the last stanza of the poem...this is why I like this poem so much. He takes the theme of the classic "little girl victim" and turns it completely around by giving her power. I am very surprised that this poem is not studied more by feminists/female activists or in Women's Studies courses. It is quite significant that a male wrote this poem shortly after the Women's Rights Movement's started to make monumental strides in their fight for equality.

    In the first stanza, we are introduced to the wolf who is coming out of the woods with a drooling, wise-cracking grin on his face. Talking about how huge his mouth is when he opens it and how equipped it is in its ability to 'gobble' up Little Red Riding Hood, the author is painting the typical picture of the terrible, scary wolf. He continues to set us up in our belief of the wolf's cunning indestructibility in the next stanza as the wolf's eyes try to seduce and win-over Little Red Riding Hood. All of these discriptions of the wolf are, of course, forshadowing the turn of events yet to come, as well as the typical description of her being all dimple and smiles. Little do we know that this little "Miss" has quite a mouth behind her pretty red gums, little teeth, and sweet pink tongue. With little to prepare the reader of Little Red Robin Hood's she-warrior abilities, she suddenly opens a wide mouth to swallow up the wolf in a mere instant. The last we see of the wolf as he is swallowed down is his tail flick, but, sure enough, LIttle Red catches it as she closes her mouth. And, like that, we see what was once a defenseless "little girl victim" regain her power and status in fairy tale history. But she is not finished... Little Red Robin Hood gives a bow in what I am sure is a cute, little curtsey, and in astonishment, the reader gives a round of appause.

    -I hope I explained it in a way that was helpful. As far as poetic devices used, there is strong imagery, alliteration, personification, similes, use of stanzas and symbolism.

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  • varges
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    i could project to wager that he's speaking approximately 2 infants who lived in neighboring cities, met at a pageant, fell in love, have been given married (certain rapid in one with golden ease), died, and have been buried area via area. 2 infants in one hamlet are their infants who survive them.

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