Figurative Language In Poetry Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

Figurative language is used when a piece of writing or speech departs from its literal meaning in order to obtain a different meaning or a special effect. A poem can "unfold" its true meaning through images, imagery (a pattern of images), symbols and symbolism, and metaphor. The great poet, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), mastered the craft of figurative language. Hardy's two poems, The Drummer Lodge and The Voice, are two examples of how a poet or writer can convey different ideas and aspects of life through figurative language. In each of these poems, Hardy depicts sadness due to death. In the Drummer Lodge it's an unfamiliar death by way of war to a young soldier. In the Voice it's a familiar person who has died and the protagonist, presumably Hardy, hopes it is his lost love. In the Drummer Lodge, a young soldier dies in war. The war is heartrending and brutal. The poem is written in a manner in which there is a sense of urgency. The boy is thrown into his burial sit "uncoffined-just a found." There was no time for a proper burial. He is thrown in, and not lowered like in a traditional funeral.Also, the soldiers can't stand around and wait since they're on enemy territory. The reader knows it is not territory familiar to the buried soldier, Hodge, because Hardy uses words like "foreign constellations," "unknown plain" and "strange-eyed constellation." Hardy uses words, which are foreign to an English reader in order to convey that this is not familiar territory for anyone involved. Although the content is simplistic, the phrases that he uses are not. This makes the reader feel empathy for the young soldier's death and unfamiliarity with the situation and terrain.2Similarly, the Voice also has a saddened theme. The "voice" is the voice of the protagonist's loved one who died. The poem is in first person and the lost love is attempting to speak to him. At first she describes herself as different and younger like when they first met. The central character believed the wind blowing is her voice but he denies it to himself. He imagines her in the "original air-blue gown" she was in when they met early on.The wind blowing is used as imagery to express hopefulness, sadness, and joy. All of these emotions are conjured up by way of the wind's breeze. The wind also symbolizes an entity being lost. The wind could have meant she is gone by another way such as divorce or separation. However, she is described as "dissolved" and will be "heard no more."We never know for certain if is who the protagonist believes it is or not. Nonetheless, the message is conveyed. The fall wind is still prevalent in the poem implying that her presence will be felt with him even after. The wind is blowing northward as he is "falters forward." The protagonist feels isolated and alone, much like the dead soldier in Drummer Hodge. The young soldier in Drummer Hodge was alone and in an area in which he was not familiar with.The constellations and the wind serve the same purpose...

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