In the poems 'London', 'Beach Burial', 'A poison Tree',' The Garden of Love',' Journey of the Magi' and 'Ulysses' by Blake, Slessor, Eliot and Tennyson, simple images of objects, actions and ideas are used to develop universal themes of life, death, social decay, religion and human alienation. 'London' and 'Beach Burial' both use simple images to express the speaker's human journey to despair. 'Journey of the Magi' and 'Ulysses' both explore a reflection of a journey and it's impacts on life through images. 'A Poison Tree' and 'The Garden of Love' are little tales describing the suppressions and confessions of anger and the destruction that the corrupted church provokes.
'London', by William Blake and 'Beach Burial' by Slessor both heavily rely on simple images of death and pain to explore and develop the themes of life and its miseries.
In 'London', Blake is highly critical of London and wretched lives that Londoners lead, but he is also critical of institutions such as the church, the monarchy and especially marriage, which takes away people's freedom. London uses simple of images of colour, such as 'black'ning church' and 'midnight streets' to evoke a sense of darkness which can be further interpreted as a notion to death. As the hapless soldier's 'sigh runs in blood down Palace walls', a vivid criticism of the monarchy who wage wars without a thought for those who do the fighting is asserted. The simple image of the chimney sweeper, "How the chimney sweeper's cry" contributes to the depiction of London's period of industrialisation. This simple yet effective imagery demonstrates the rigidity of London's society at that particular time. Like London, Beach Burial uses images of suffering and desolation to reveal the speakers recognition of the great democracy of death. "Dead seamen, gone in search of the same landfall,/Whether as enemies they fought,/ Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together." Slessor illustrates a stark description of death and how it inevitably forces men together, despite their differences.
**Similarly to London, Beach Burial use simple images of colour to assist in revealing a suitably serious and sombre tone. " Unknown seaman- the ghostly pencil/ Wavers and fades, the purple drips", the indelible pencil used to write unknown seaman turns purple in the wet, wavering and fading like a ghostly pencil.
Both poems successfully use simple images of suffering and misery to develop the underlying theme of death.
Simple images of nature are evident in 'Journey of the Magi', by T S Eliot, and...