The Ball Poem Poetic Devices Class 10 English Poems

The major Poetic Devices used in the ‘The Ball Poem’ are given here. Poetic devices enhance the gravity, beauty and appeal of any poem. Watch the video tutorial on ‘The ball Poem’ to understand the poem.

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Poetic Devices – The Ball Poem

The Ball Poem Class 10 – Explained in Hindi with Poetic Devices

A few key literary elements in the poem are:

Rhyme scheme

There is no rhyme scheme since the poem has been written in free verse.


Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify the ideas by giving them symbolic meaning that are different from their literal meaning.

  • The term ‘ball’ is used as a symbol for the boy’s past childhood days that are now gone.
  • The loss of the ball is symbolic of the loss of the boy’s innocence.
  • It is also symbolic of the boy gaining knowledge on how to experience loss and survive.
  • It is also symbolic of the boy becoming a man (gaining mature thinking) after losing innocence of a childhood.


This poetic device is used when a covert comparison is made between two different things or ideas. In this poem, the poet uses the device of metaphor in the 8th line when he compares the boy’s young days or his childhood with the lost ball.

  • The line ‘All his young days into the harbour where His ball went’ is an example of metaphor.
  • The poet uses this metaphor to draw a comparison between the lost ball and the loss of the boy’s childhood.


Alliteration is the repetition of the same sound that is used in the beginning of the closely placed words.

  • In the poem, the phrases ‘what, what’ and ‘buys a ball back’ are examples of alliteration.
  • The poet stresses on the repetition of certain sounds in words to enhance the flow of the poem.


  • Berryman repeats the word ‘ball’ at various points of the poem.
  • He uses the word on surface to describe the loss of the ball. He also uses it as a symbol for the loss of childhood innocence.
  • The phrase ‘how to stand up’ is repeated to explain the importance of overcoming grief in the poem.
  • ‘What’ is repeated.


This poetic device is used when the poet addresses his poem to an absent audience.

In this poem, the poet uses the device of an apostrophe in the 13th line as he directly speaks to the little boy and tells him that balls are always liable to get lost, but we never see the boy responding to him.

  • The poet uses the literary device of ‘apostrophe’ to address the little boy.
  • Although he is talking to the boy, the boy is away from him, and does not respond to him.

Transferred Epithet

This poetic device is used when an emotion is attributed to a non-living thing after being displaced from a person.

In this poem, the poet uses the device of transferred epithet in the 15th line, when he writes the phrase ‘desperate eyes’. It is not that the eyes of the boy are sad, but that the boy itself is sad and that his eyes are expressing that emotion on his face.

  • The phrase ‘desperate eyes’ is an example of transferred epithet. It tells us that the boy himself is sad, and not merely his eyes.
  • The poet uses this figure of speech to convey how the emotions on the little boy’s face are reflected in his eyes.


Use of two words in two or more lines (what is the boy …………… what, what)


When poet says, ‘merrily bouncing down the street.’


Use of vowel sound ‘e’ (He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes.)

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