Elegy for Jane Two of the most beautiful combinations, to me, are the use of imagery and metaphors. With the use of these two figures of speech the reader is able to paint a complete, detail picture in their from the piece they are reading. In “Elegy for Jane”, the speaker is standing over the grave of a student, Jane, of his who fell of a horse to her death. Roethke uses imagery and diction, among other figures of speech, to help the reader picture the young Jane that he loved and knew by using nature to make the connection. Roethke goes on throughout the poem to compare Jane to various types of birds, sceneries, feelings and aspects of nature by not only explaining her physical attributes but her personality as well.
This poem struck my curiosity immediately. My first thought was, “Wow, this man ha a deep love and admiration for Jane.” I couldn’t understand how a teacher was able to understand and care for a student that much. Roethke’s use of detail through diction and imagery paints a vivid picture of Jane, almost as if she was standing in front of you, making the reader ponder the dynamics of the relationship between Jane her this teacher. The poem opens with Roethke describing Jane’s exterior in the first lines:
“ I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils; And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile; ” ( 1-2 )
By using the simile limp and damp as tendrils and the metaphor sidelong pickerel smile, I began to visualize Jane, sitting at a