Poetic Imagery in the 20th Century Paper

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Poetic Imagery in the 20th Century

Phaedra Rosengarth


November 22, 2010

Judith Glass

Poetic Imagery in the 20th Century

In the early portion of the twentieth century, “newer authors would be characterized, like the generation before them, by aesthetic originality and rebellion, by the determination to scatter conventional taboos against the expression of physical and psychological actuality, by a hunger for spiritual enlightenment sought in symbolic or primitivistic expression, and by a renewed sense of responsibility for fellow human beings, expressed in direct attacks on the contemporary social order” (Perkins and Perkins, 2009, p. 1409). Three of the authors who would come on the scene during this time are poets Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Amy Lowell. All three of the following poets (Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Amy Lowell) used word pictures and metaphors in creating their poems; however, while two of them would use techniques like alliteration and rhyming, the third would not, or one would use symbolism and allusion, but the others would not.

In the poem “Fire and Ice” (Perkins and Perkins, 2009, p. 1457), Robert Frost places the setting in the present and shows the poet's feelings for the future. Frost's tone is satirical, as he insinuates at the likelihood that evil lies in wait below the otherwise organized exterior of the world. Frost uses alliteration, which refers to the same sounds being used at the start of words or the starting syllable of a word [i.e., fire on line one and desire on line three]. Fire on line four, ice on line six, and suffice on the last line all rhyme, which adds to the poem by producing a pleasant kind of rhyme that brings out the readers’ emotions. Another noticeable literary device used in "Fire and Ice" is metaphor. The words "fire" and "ice" are equated to ways that Frost considers the world will end. Another literary device Frost uses is symbolism (i.e., fire and ice are symbols of desire and...