Vivid Use of Imagery in My Father’s Garden, by David Wagoner Essay

Vivid Use of Imagery in My Father’s Garden, by David Wagoner Essay

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In David Wagoner’s poem, “My Father’s Garden”, the speaker describes his father’s job as a fruitful gardener that his father find very productive but does not finally yield anything of value. Through the use of vivid imagery, we are presented with two contrasting outlooks on life. In four stanzas, Wagoner’s use of imagery and metaphors shows us what he thinks of his father’s job, his education and subsequently, the choices his father has made throughout his life.
We are first presented with image of an open hearth which directly sets the tone for the first stanza. The speaker description of his father as a knight in a furnace with where “white hot steel” (ln, 1) that is pierced by “his lance” (ln, 2) has a negative connotation. With the use of the words, “blazing” and “molten” (ln, 4), the setting is hell-like and ultimately gives us an insight into the speaker’s impression of his father. However, in the last sentence, the scene drastically changes from a merciless“open hearth” to a calm a scrapyard that is his father’s “kind of garden” (ln, 6).
In the secon...

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