Brian Patten: Poems Literary Elements

Brian Patten: Poems Literary Elements


Collection of poems



Setting and Context

The action described in the poem "There is a boat Down on the Quay’’ takes place near a harbor in an unmentioned year.

Narrator and Point of View

The poems are narrated from a first person subjective point of view.

Tone and Mood

The narrator uses a neutral tone in the poems.

Protagonist and Antagonist

There are no protagonists and antagonists in the poems.

Major Conflict

The major conflict in the poem "Mr. Ifonly’’ is between the past and the present.


The poem "Mr. Ifonly’’ reaches its climax when Ifonly dies at the end of the poem.


In the poem "There is a boat down the quay’’ the narrator describes how angles came down from the heavens as sparrows. This foreshadows the possible tragic ending of the ship.


In the poem "Party Piece’’ the woman refuses in the beginning to have sex with the male protagonist. Paradoxically, however, she agrees in the end and the two become involved in a sexual relationship.


In the poem "There is a boat down the quay’’ the narrator describes the people in the boats as being giants who sail on the open waters. This description alludes to the idea that the sailors were extraordinary people, capable of wonderful things and men who were different form the rest of the population.


An important imagery takes place in the poem "Party Piece’’ where the narrator describes the environment in which the man and the woman made love. The environment is presented as being a natural one, in the middle of nature, far away from any type of artificiality. This thus transmits the idea that love is something pure that can’t be tainted by the modern world.




In the poem "Geography lesson ‘’ the narrator draws a parallel between the city in which he grew in and was raised in and the city described by one of his teachers who wanted to visit the world. The two completely different descriptions are important because it makes the reader understand how the narrator looked as his own hometown in relation with other places.


We find personification in the line "the dawn creeps in’’.

Use of Dramatic Devices

No dramatic devices have been used since the book is a collection of poems.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.