How Do Poems Use Language to Create Imaginary Worlds That Question Our Understanding of Human Nature?

1009 WordsNov 20, 20125 Pages
Poppies by Mary Oliver and A Martian Sends A Postcard Home by Craig Raine, with the use of unconventional metaphors and extremely detailed observation encourage us to look upon the ordinary in a way that leads us to explore our own human nature. Unexpected connections between a previously ordinary object and something that at first seemed totally unrelated can paint a picture of another context within which we can better examine our own existence (Hirsch). This is demonstrated quite well in A Martian Sends A Postcard Home in nearly every stanza, with the alien viewpoint of everyday things leading to considerable thought about the things we take for granted. The line, “At night, when all the colours die” is a particularly vivid way of…show more content…
However, it is precisely this alien frame of reference that gives the reader a connection between their observations and their inner thoughts. Lines such as, “Adults go to a punishment room with water and nothing to eat”, though describing the base act of going to the toilet in a humorous manner also can lead to reflection on the nature of punishment and our own frame of reference for all things around us which we observe when we don’t quite understand their context. It encourages the reader to reach harmony between our “inner selves” and the universe around them, which some argue is the entire function of poetry itself. Both these poems utilize this detail to create a living imaginary world for the reader to consider the ideas put forth within (Couch 12). In conclusion, when both metaphor and detail are brought together in this way, with the poetic language that is employed in the two pieces, a powerful representation of “truth” and “harmony” is communicated to the reader in a way that possibly the standard prose form cannot. In this essay I have shown how the poets, by including the reader in the process of forming the ultimate meaning of what they are reading by the use of metaphor, together with painting their descriptions in great detail but in such a way that obscures instant recognition of what is being described, lead the
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