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Imagery is one of the most potent instruments which a poet can use to awaken the feelings of a reader. Compare the nature and effects of images in two or three poems you have enjoyed.

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Introduction

(Q) Imagery is one of the most potent instruments which a poet can use to awaken the feelings of a reader. Compare the nature and effects of images in two or three poems you have enjoyed. Imagery is the ability to form mental images of things or events. It signifies all the sensory perceptions referred to in a poem, whether by literal description, allusion, simile, or metaphor. Like senses such as reflex movement, which occur due to a reaction to something that is coming to hit the person, human emotions occur due to the personal interpretation of the literature terms used by the poet. The emotions are the sentimental reactions of the reader based on their interpretation of the certain poem, phrase or sentence used by the poet. This technique, which when used properly can have a huge impact on the reader and on their understanding of the poem is used largely by T.S. Eliot in the 'Preludes' and 'The Journey of the Magi'. The poet's intentions behind a poem can be guided by the poem's title since, it is the first thing that a reader is likely to read and thus, the title helps to put up certain first impressions as intended by the poet. ...read more.

Middle

and eyes' The image of 'vacant lots' is repeated in the first and last stanzas and besides revealing the unchanging emptiness of peoples lives the repetition links the vacant lots of city blocks to the vacant lots of earlier societies. In 'Preludes', Eliot also contrasts natural and urban images. 'The morning comes to consciousness' demonstrates the potential beauty of morning, with its promise of new life and energy, which then evolves into an image of a hangover when coupled with the line 'Of faint stale smells of beer'. People wake up as if from a coma and need to rush to 'early coffee-stands' to start their days. This sentence also emphasizes the fast-paced modern life where people work so much that they have to sleep very heavily and then the only way they can make it through the next day is by drinking stimulant drugs. This also suggests that life in the city has lost contact with its natural rhythms and is consumed by the routines that 'time' demands. The second comparison of nature and an urban image appears in the third part of the poem, 'And you heard the sparrows in the gutter' The beauty of nature and bird life is brought down to the level of the city gutters, and more importantly, it is connected with the only character that the poem focuses on. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But thought they were different; this Birth was. Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death" The "Hard and bitter agony... like Death" is an example of a simile that means that the journey for the Magus was like dying to him, because he had gone from the comfort from his home, traveled a great distance and suffered hardships that he had probably never had to endure through before, all to see a baby being born in a stable whilst at the same time, sees the baby's death on the journey. At the end of the stanza, and the end of the poem, the Magus finishes with thoughts of his own "subjects" still believing in an old religion and he looks forward to his own death "With an alien people clutching their god. I should be glad of another death" Overall, natural and urban imagery has been used by TS Eliot in 'Preludes' in order to represent the monotony of the daily routine of the modern people which is taking them away from religion, images of which are prevailing in 'A Journey of the Magi' to show how religion has changed Eliot completely and that it can have similar good effects on us. Eliot uses the imagery to exemplify his hatred for the monotonous modern life and how religion helps him to get over this. ...read more.

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