Comparing “Snapping Beans” By Lisa Parker, “Nighttime Fires” By Regina Barreca, “Love Poem” By John Frederick Nims, And “Song” By John Donne

1041 words - 4 pages

Lisa Parker’s “Snapping Beans”, Regina Barreca’s “Nighttime Fires”, John Frederick Nims’ “Love Poem”, and John Donne’s “Song” all demonstrate excellent use of imagery in their writing. All of the authors did a very good job at illustrating how the use of imagery helps the reader understand what the author’s message is. However, some of the poems use different poetic devices and different tones. In Lisa Parker’s “Snapping Beans” and Regina Barreca’s “Nighttime Fires”, both poems display a good use of personification. However in John Donne’s “Song” and John Frederick Nims’ “Love Poem, they differ in the fact that the tone used in each poem contrasts from each other.
The poem “Snapping Beans” by Lisa Parker is about a girl who visits her grandmother. In the poem, the girl and the grandmother talk about their usual things, like how she is going in school. The girl responds with how school is going good, but she knows that her grandmother would not approve of her social circle and what they do and talk about. The narrator does an excellent job of using imagery and personification to help the reader understand on an emotional level of how the student may be feeling while sitting on the porch with her grandmother. One example of personification in this poem would be: “About the nights I cried into the familiar / heartsick panels of the quilt she made me,” (26-27). This use of personification indicates that the panels of the quilt are heartsick because the girl cries each night into her quilt because she misses her grandmother dearly. In Regina Barreca’s poem “Nighttime Fires, the narrator explains her complex view of her father. Imagery plays a big role in this poem because it vividly illustrates the girl’s impression of her father’s unusual actions, such as witnessing all the destruction caused by the nighttime fires. Great use of diction helps the read create a clear mental picture throughout the poem. For example, in the beginning of the poem “all pajamas and running noses, into the / Olds, / drove fast toward the smoke.” (3-4) gives a good mental picture of young children being wakened up at night to go chase a nighttime fire that only the father wishes to see. “His face lit up in the heat given off by the destruction … My father who never held us would take my hand and point to the falling cinders that covered the ground like snow … Driving home, she would fall asleep in the front seat as we huddled behind. I could see his quiet face in the rearview mirror, eyes like hallways filled with smoke.” (19-31). These lines provide a great visual of a significant memory the narrator had in her childhood. The use of personification in the last line, “… eyes like hallways filled with smoke” (30) gives the reader a better visual of how the nighttime fires gave the father a sort of happiness; you can see the happiness the fire is giving him by simply looking in his eyes.

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