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Poetry Essay

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Poetry Essay Armitage loves creating imagery in his poetry. How effective do you think this is? Choose two or three poems in which you feel imagery helps you understand the poem. The two poems I have chosen as an example of his work, are, I feel two of the best examples of Armitage's imagery. They are both very different; one deals with hope while the other, the loss of hope; one is progressive while the other is regressive. Yet they have one thing in common, they both use very powerful imagery. Armitage uses a very effective piece of imagery when telling us about the pigeon spreading its' tail feathers towards him. This is like a magician showing their cards to an audience and inviting them to choose a card. This shows a conflict between fantasy and reality because although the pigeon is real, the idea of it offering a card is fantasy. This links clearly with the idea of the poem because the fact that the poet can see again has made everything that he does see more wonderful and more amazing that it really is; a fantasy world. This adds to our understanding of the poem and the effect of new sight to the poet. "A pigeon in the yard turns tail and offers me a card. Any card." Another very good example of Armitage's imagery is shown in the first two lines of the poem. ...read more.


By introducing this different way of looking at regaining sight, Armitage helps us understand more what it must be like to be able to see again after perhaps many years. The last five lines, "But not before a company of half a dozen hens struts through the gate, looks round the courtyard for a contact lens. A courtyard is a space enclosed by walls or buildings. In these lines the poet is saying that blindness was like a courtyard. That he was enclosed in his blindness, but now the gate is open he can see. Also the way the hens 'struts through the gate' signifies that the subject struts, as people who strut are proud or pleased with something. He is pleased to be free of his blindness so he struts out of his prison proudly. The image of the hens 'looks round the courtyard for a contact lens' means that although the poet has his sight back, it is perhaps still not perfect and that he has to wear contact lenses, and that is why the hens are looking in the courtyard and not outside the gate, because he still needs help with his sight. In this part of the poem, there is assonance of the letter 's' which is used to create vivid imagery of the sound of the hens scratching. The words which give us the 's, s, s, s' of the scratching are, hens, struts, looks and lens. ...read more.


These are the lines which make us really think on the character and what this poem is about, in this we become detective. Which leads me on to the final theme, the interactive poem. In this poem it seems as if it is written in a list, perhaps a detective or a policeman's list. This poem is interactive. You are the detective and this list is all you have to piece this mans life together. Armitage uses imagery in the random ideas effectively to make quite a normal everyday thing seem, important and this draws us in. It becomes like a puzzle, it is a puzzle to work out the incongruities, to build up the picture and work out his life. As we play detective, it helps us understand the poem more than if we read it like a list. We do not read it like a list because of the poet's effective imagery. About his person, although very different from, "Cataract Operation", is still extremely effective. Both poems draw you in but in different ways. Armitage displays his skill in the poems as a creator of imagery that helps you really relate to the people in the poem and the subject matter. Armitage changes everyday things into something fantastical. On the surface everything is normal, but at a deeper level we realise that what the poet writes is not necessarily what the poem is dealing with. "But not before a company of half a dozen hens struts through the gate, looks round the courtyard for a contact lens." ...read more.

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