The Connection Between Imagery and Paradoxes in Poetry Essay

The Connection Between Imagery and Paradoxes in Poetry Essay

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Ars Poetica, written by Archibald MacLeish, depicts the significance of a poem’s use of imagery in order to convey the author’s intended meaning. “A poem should be wordless, as the flight of birds” (MacLeish 558 l.7-8). A flock of birds does not take much thought to comprehend, rather the sight explains the event itself. This beautiful metaphor presents a suggestion for poets by displaying its effectiveness first hand. Likewise, the poems in “cluster 3” follow the same criterion. In essence, Ars Poetica acts as a guideline for the following poems. The main ruling for the poets is to use imagery in order to create paradoxes that are bewilderingly relevant to the daily life of readers. This is done through the usage of narration, emotion, and rhyme.
In the poem Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy illustrates the life of a girl who was rejected by society due to her physical appearance. The poem starts off by addressing the name of toys that readers may remember from their childhood, “…and presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons…” (Piercy 416 l.2-3). This use of imagery settles the reader into the retrospect of their youth. “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: you have a great big nose and fat legs” (Piercy 416 l.5-6). As a child, it is not out of the ordinary to experience bullying. Some individuals may experience more than others, however; it wouldn’t be an irrational claim to say that most children have underwent at least one account where they felt violated by another child. In this sense, most readers would be able to relate to the story, even if they hadn’t experienced as much agony as the nameless girl in the poem. The girl inevitably passed away and was painted in cosmetics. The poem then goes o...


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... syllable lines, which gives the effect of a balanced beat, or something one can dance to. Additionally, it seems that he uses the same verse at the beginning and at the end of the poem, in order to create a “frame” which is relative to the actual painting.
Ars Poetica has clearly set the guidelines for the cluster of poems that followed. A main concept that was stressed by Archibald MacLeish, was relativity to the reader. “A poem should not mean, but be” (MacLeish 558 l.23-24). MacLeish also placed importance on imagery; “A poem should be wordless, as the flight of birds” (MacLeish 558 l.7-8). Principally, literary devices gives poems a more effective meaning. The poems that were analyzed displayed great amounts of imagery which helped to form common paradoxes that readers may face in their everyday lives, thus giving the cluster of poems relativity to its readers.

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