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Poetry Meanings

  • Date Submitted: 03/02/2014 01:43 AM
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Terms used-but it is more important to say what the words ‘do’ from the point of view of making you respond than to know the technical term!

Imagery:using comparisons to help the reader understand the situation/idea better. These can be metaphors ,similes or personification.

Simile(not smilie!)

This is where you use the word ‘like’ or ‘as.........as’ when you link one thing with another. For example:

‘In dim-lit streets,war-tired people moved slowly

Like dark-coated bears in a snowy region.’(Beginning in a City,1948).

This makes you visualise the colour of their clothes but also gives the idea of something heavy and clumsy.Often the feeling the poet has about whatever he’s describing comes through when using comparisons. So they do not just create a picture but convey attitude.


Or, look at the last section in ‘Two Scavengers in a Truck

                                                       Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes

‘as if they were watching some odourless TV ad

   In which everything is always possible’.


Where you treat one thing as if it is another without using ‘like’ or ‘as’

Eg: ‘ in search of accommodating clothes’-as if the clothes need to be as big as a house! Or:

‘He scratches life’..as if the ex-dictator is like a scrawny chicken


‘I ..was an unfinished shack’..letting in the elements,not ‘British’

Extended image

Sometimes the comparison forms a way of developing ideas throughout the poem-eg: the idea of being sent ‘to the kitchen

When company comes’-the situation now-versus


I’ll be at the table when company comes’

Is a way of presenting the contrast between being given power as opposed to being excluded.(‘I, too ,sing America)


Where a thing or abstract idea is treated as if it is human-usually to make it more accessible or dramatic.

Eg: ‘the sun surfacing defiantly’...as if it’s like a diver coming to the surface.



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