The poem begins with the speaker describing an individual by the name Mike, who is listening to a poem on the radio (Line 1). The speaker goes on to say that, the poem playing on the radio is assisting Mike to stay awake as he drives home describing the distance that he had to drive. He continues to assert that Mike taps his hand to some beats available in the poem. The speaker takes a twist and brings the wife to the picture, expounding that she is lonely, and falls asleep when attempting to read a novel while waiting for the husband (Line 5-Line 10).
The speaker continues with the poem to give examples of individuals who found poetry interesting. She gives an example of Naomi, who claps to the rhyme turned on by her father. She uses the word rhyme to show that the song is a form of poem (Line 15-Line 20). The speaker then questions the notion if poetry made nothing happen. In the last stanza of the poem, the speaker gives examples of people who swear that poetry has no impact on their lives, but who admit it has a little. The poem ends with a claim from the speaker that the poems can save individuals from the occurrences around the globe.
One can analyze the poem in three major elements. Situation and setting is one element that one can analyze this poem. The poem begins with the speaker describing an individual driving for a distance (Line 1). The setting is meant to discredit the fact that poetry makes no difference, as it shows how poetry keeps the driver occupied in his driving. The reality that the driver taps to the rhythm of the poem indicates that he is attentive and his mind is in the poem he is listening to from the car radio. Moreover, the situation that he is driving for a distance indicates that the driver could have chosen to listen to something else but he chose poetry.
One can also use structure to analyze the poem. The poem has rhyme in several instances which make it interesting to read and easy to comprehend. The rhyme is more prevalent in the last stanza where words like small and all being the last words of the sentence (Line 27-Line 30). There is also proper use of punctuation marks. The poet utilizes continuation marks to create suspense in the poem. There is also use of exclamation marks in the poem. The speaker uses this marks in the last two lines of the second stanza to create emphasis that indeed poetry makes this happen. The use of opening and closing quotation marks to quote the title of a book sets apart the title from other parts of the poem (Line 8).
The tone of the poem is also an element that one may use when analyzing the poem. The tome at the beginning of the poem is relaxed with the speaker explaining the soft nature of poetry. In addition, poetry keeps the driver on course when driving. The tone changes to a wishing tone as the speaker continues. The speaker wishes that the president had listened to another poet who asserted that poetry had made nothing happen. However, the tone changes to a reassuring tome at the end suggesting that poems can still save individuals from the numerous occurrences in the universe (Line 30). The changes in tone are to make the poem interesting and moving to the reader.
JULIA ALVAREZ “Poetry Makes Nothing Happen”, Mays., and Kelly J.. The Norton Introduction to Literature (Digital Portable Edition), 11th Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. VitalBook file.