In Response To:
" A Simile For Her Smile", Richard Wilbur uses the technique of figurative language - "simile". The poet compares the woman's smile as a boat, and the moment that he thought of her smile was like a sequel of a drawbridge that stop all the hasty traffic to let the boat get though. It means that when the woman's smile comes to his mind, all other bothering, hasty thoughts would disappear, and only the smile would exist. The phrases such as " hasty traffic," "massed and staring", "horns are hushed", "oilsmoke rarifies", and "idling motors" present a very great contrast to those as "smooth approach", "slip of the silken river", "ringing of clear bells", slow cascading of the paddle wheel". How important and powerful the girl is !
By mentioning the cars, bridges and a boat as figurative language of modern term, the poet uses a very interesting and vivid way to reveal his love toward the woman. Although it was not the tradition love poem but it is still romantic and even more. Not the beautiful face nor the body, but simply the sweet smile and the lovely voices she uttered ( the ringing of clear bells ) that makes him infatuated.
I can't help think of the boy "Sammy" in the "A&P" supermarket when I first time read this poem. When Queenie walked in the "A&P", Sammy was so attracted by her that he forgot whether he had rang up the HiHo crackers in his hand or not. Somehow, there is difference between the two men that the poet's mind was full of the woman's smile but Sammy's eyes were on Queenie's straps-down bathing suit.