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Poetry: Imagery


Imagery is something happening in the poetry that can create imagination related our five senses. In the application the writer, to arise those imagination, uses figure of speeches, or also sometimes uses direct expressions which can trigger the reader's mind to imagine such kinds of situation that the writer intends to say. Below are the example of imagery analysis.

THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world
And older than of the flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the rivers

I bathed in Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled to sleep
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it
I heard the singing of Mississippi when Abe Lincoln 
went down to New Orleans
and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset
I’ve known rivers
Ancient dusky rivers
My soul has grown deep like the rivers   
  
 Analysis:
This poem is like weaving –design in which the poet has woven together some threads of history of some threads from the geography of the world. In the design, the rivers weave in and out with all the people who live and work on the shores. The people, in time, all pass into ancient history, but the great rivers continue to flow along. And the soul of Negro people continue to grow-deeper and deeper, like the rivers they are so closely connected within their history.

Imageries
1. “I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than of the flow of human blood in human veins” In this first stanza, in line 2 and 3 represent hyperbole.
The sentence is exaggerated.
2. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers” In line 4 shows simile.
There is a word like in that sentence by comparing between the negro’s soul and the river.
3. “I heard the singing of Mississippi” In the second stanza, line 4 indicates personification.
Since thing, Mississippi (river), can sing like human.

DIRGE FOR A SOLDIER
Close his eyes; his work is done!             (imagery of feeling)
What to him is friend or foeman
Rise of moon, or set of sun,     (imagery of seeing)
Hand of man, or kiss of woman?   (imagery of touching)
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow! 
What cares he? He cannot know:
Lay him low!

As man may, he fought his fight,
Proved his truth by his endeavor;
Let him sleep in solemn night,
Sleep forever and forever
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow! 
What cares he? He cannot know:
Lay him low!

Fold him in his country’s stars, 
Roll the drum and fire the volley! (imagery of hearing and seeing)
What to him are all our wars,
What but death be mocking folly
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow! 
What cares he? He cannot know:
Lay him low!

Leave him to God’s watching eye, (imagery of feeling)
Trust him to the hand that made him,
Mortal love woops idly by:
God alone has power to aid him
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow! 
What cares he? He cannot know:
Lay him low!

_ George Henry Boker

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