'Djolan' by Ellis Parker Butler

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BookmanAugust 1911Soft was the night, the eve how airy,
When through the big, fat dictionary
I wandered on in careless ease,
And read the a's, b's, c's and d's!But stop! What is this form I see,
Beginning with a hump-backed d?
I pause! I gasp! I falter there!
It is the djolan, I declare!It is the djolan, wond'rous word!
The Buceros plicatus bird!
Ne'er, ne'er before had I the bliss
To meet a djolly word like this!'Twas djust before my dinner hour --
Well, let the djuicy djoint go sour!
Djoyful I read. I djust must see
What this strange djolan word may be!Ah! ha! It is a noun! A noun!
(A ''name word" as we say in town)
"E. Ind. The native name of the
Year bird." These are the words I see."A hornbill with a white tail and --"
The big book trembles in my hand --
"-- plicated membrane at the base --"
Ah, well-a-day! If that's the case!"-- base of the beak, inhabiting --"
Oh! dictionary, wond'rous thing!
"-- the Sunda Islands ----" Where would we
Without our dictionary be?"-- Malacca, e-t-c." That's all!
I let the dictionary fall.
I am replete. All is explained.
Knowledge (it's power) is what I've gained!Soft was the night, the eve how airy,
I read no more the dictionary,
But Oh! and Oh! my heart was stirred
To learn the djolan was a bird!

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Delectable Delight: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation of Djolan by Ellis Parker Butler

Are you looking for a piece of poetry that is worth savoring like a delicious treat? Then look no further than Djolan by Ellis Parker Butler. This classic poem is an exquisite example of the use of imagery, rhythm, and metaphor to convey a message of hope and joy. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, symbols, and techniques used by Butler to create this masterpiece.

The Themes of Djolan

At its core, Djolan is a celebration of life and the joys that it can bring. Throughout the poem, Butler uses vivid imagery and metaphors to paint a picture of a world that is bursting with color, flavor, and happiness. The central theme of the poem is the idea that even in the darkest of times, there is always something to be grateful for.

Butler achieves this theme by contrasting the bleakness of winter with the vibrancy of spring. In the opening lines of the poem, he describes the "cold and darkness" that envelop the world in the winter months. But then, he introduces the character of Djolan, a woman who embodies the spirit of spring. Djolan is described as a "dancing, laughing sprite," who brings with her the warmth and light of the new season.

Through Djolan, Butler shows that no matter how dark and cold the world may seem, there is always the possibility of renewal and growth. Djolan's arrival heralds the coming of spring, and with it, the promise of new life and happiness.

Another theme that runs throughout the poem is the idea of community and sharing. Djolan is not just a symbol of spring; she is also a symbol of unity and togetherness. The poem describes how Djolan brings with her "cakes and fruits and nuts," which she shares freely with everyone she meets. In doing so, she creates a sense of camaraderie and goodwill that spreads throughout the community.

Butler uses this theme to show that happiness is not something that can be achieved alone. It is something that is shared and experienced together. Djolan's generosity and kindness bring people together and create a sense of belonging that is essential to human happiness.

The Symbols of Djolan

One of the most striking aspects of Djolan is the use of powerful symbols to convey its message. Butler uses a wide range of images and metaphors to bring the poem to life and make it a feast for the senses.

Perhaps the most prominent symbol in the poem is Djolan herself. She represents the spirit of spring and the promise of new life. Her dancing and laughter are a metaphor for the joy and vitality that spring brings with it.

Another symbol that Butler uses is the image of the cakes, fruits, and nuts that Djolan brings with her. These represent the bounty and abundance of nature, as well as the idea of sharing and generosity. The fact that Djolan shares these treats freely with everyone she meets shows that she embodies the spirit of community and togetherness.

The image of the cherry tree is also a powerful symbol in the poem. The cherry tree represents the idea of growth and renewal, as well as the fleeting nature of life. The fact that Djolan dances around the tree, plucking its fruit and sharing it with others, shows that she understands the importance of cherishing each moment and living life to the fullest.

The Techniques of Djolan

Butler's use of language and poetic techniques is what truly elevates Djolan to the level of a masterpiece. Throughout the poem, he makes use of a wide range of techniques to create a sense of rhythm, texture, and depth.

One of the most notable techniques used in the poem is alliteration. Butler uses alliteration to create a sense of musicality and rhythm, as well as to emphasize certain words and phrases. For example, in the line "Djolan, dancing, laughing sprite," the repetition of the "d" sound creates a sense of movement and energy.

Another technique that Butler uses is repetition. He repeats certain phrases and images throughout the poem to create a sense of continuity and unity. For example, the phrase "cakes and fruits and nuts" is repeated several times, emphasizing the importance of sharing and generosity.

But perhaps the most impressive technique used in the poem is the way that Butler creates a sense of visual imagery. He uses vivid descriptions and metaphors to paint a picture of a world that is bursting with color and flavor. From the "dazzling cherry tree" to the "golden-honey sunlight," each image is carefully crafted to create a sense of sensory richness.


In conclusion, Djolan is a truly remarkable piece of poetry that deserves to be celebrated and savored. Butler's use of symbolism, themes, and techniques creates a sense of depth and emotional resonance that is rare in contemporary poetry. The poem's celebration of life, community, and joy is a message that is as relevant today as it was when it was first written.

If you are looking for a piece of poetry that is both exquisitely crafted and emotionally resonant, then Djolan is the perfect choice. Its message of hope and renewal is one that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this delectable delight of a poem.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Djolan: A Masterpiece of Humor and Satire

If you are a fan of humorous poetry, then you must have heard of the classic poem, Poetry Djolan, written by Ellis Parker Butler. This poem is a masterpiece of humor and satire, and it has been entertaining readers for over a century. In this article, we will take a closer look at this poem and analyze its themes, structure, and literary devices.

The poem tells the story of a man named Djolan, who is a poet. Djolan is not a very good poet, but he is convinced that he is a genius. He spends his days writing terrible poetry and dreaming of fame and fortune. However, despite his efforts, he is unable to get his poetry published or recognized by anyone.

The poem is divided into three parts, each of which tells a different part of Djolan's story. In the first part, we are introduced to Djolan and his delusions of grandeur. He believes that he is a great poet and that his work is destined to be famous. He spends his days writing terrible poetry and submitting it to publishers, but he is always rejected.

In the second part of the poem, Djolan decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides to self-publish his poetry and sell it on the streets. However, his poetry is so bad that nobody wants to buy it. Djolan is left alone and dejected, with nobody to appreciate his work.

In the final part of the poem, Djolan has a moment of realization. He realizes that his poetry is terrible and that he has been deluding himself all along. He decides to give up writing poetry and pursue a different career. He becomes a successful businessman and forgets about his dreams of being a poet.

The themes of the poem are clear: delusion, failure, and the pursuit of fame. Djolan is a character who is so convinced of his own greatness that he is blind to his own shortcomings. He is a cautionary tale about the dangers of overconfidence and the importance of self-awareness.

The structure of the poem is also noteworthy. It is written in rhyming couplets, which gives it a sing-song quality. This adds to the humor of the poem and makes it more enjoyable to read. The use of repetition is also effective, as it emphasizes Djolan's obsession with his own poetry.

The poem is full of literary devices, including irony, satire, and hyperbole. The irony is evident in Djolan's belief in his own greatness, despite the fact that his poetry is terrible. The satire is evident in the way that the poem mocks the idea of fame and the pursuit of success. The hyperbole is evident in the exaggerated descriptions of Djolan's terrible poetry.

In conclusion, Poetry Djolan is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a masterpiece of humor and satire, and it continues to entertain readers today. The themes, structure, and literary devices used in the poem all contribute to its success. If you haven't read this poem yet, then you are missing out on a true gem of literature.

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