Poem Comparison

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With a little help from other literary devices, imagery is one of the most important literary devices in poetry, and it is the key device used in Daniel Elder’s poem “Ballade To The Moon” and Elizabeth Frye’s poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.”
I’ll be contrasting imagery used by Daniel Elder and Elizabeth Frye in their respective works, Ballade To The Moon and Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.
As explored by this review, the two poets mainly use language to express meaning, with a little bit of metaphor and sound tossed in for good measure. As observed from both these poems, imagery is the most important literary device that Elder and Fryer use and with a little bit of tone and metaphors, the clear meaning and purpose of the poem can be extracted.
Body Paragraphs
In “do not stand at my grave and weep” the speaker is very elaborate is explaining to the reader why he or she should not go and grieve by the graveside and every line in this free form poem is an explanation of why they shouldn’t. Each line not only explains why but also demonstrates why the speaker is in a better place away from death. For example, the speaker paints a vivid image of what he has become and the images are colorful images of freedom, beauty and joy (Cavanagh, Gillis and Michelle 74). For example, he says “I am the diamond glints in the snow.” Diamonds are symbols of beauty and the narrator must therefore be in a better and beautiful place than a graveyard. In the end, when the speaker concludes that “I am not there. I did not die” the reader is not only convinced but is no longer sorrowful and gloomy in mourning.
In “Ballade to the moon” Elder paints another vivid image of an individual who is in such a wonderful place that the audience is wowed. As Gill (156) explains, the image that comes to mind immediately that the poem starts is that of beauty and freedom (Gill 156). He begins “on moonlight night I wander free” from that image alone, there is the striking image of the moon at night, glowing and beautiful and the free spirit of a man wandering around without any care in the world. Matched by a lyrical and light tone, the whole poem is an exemplary
Imagery is the single most important literary device that both Elder and Frye have employed to give meaning to their poems. While the objectives of the two poems are different, with Frye aiming at comforting while Elder aims at romanticizing the mind, the final product by both poets is a beautiful work of art that takes the reader on a spiritual journey into a better place (Kalz 6). The metaphors used and the tone employed by the poets’ works at reinforcing their ideas. Elder uses a light tone to weave the lyrical poem together and take the reader around a journey around the moon and the stars almost riding on the crest of the waves of the wind. Fryer uses a defiant tone to defy death and demonstrate to the reader that the speaker is in a better place and not confined to the ground (Beach and O’Connor 275).
Provide a viewpoint that challenges your thesis. (imagine a skeptical reader reading your essay – show how different conclusions can be made)
It might seem that one is a romantic poem and the other a dirge, two poems at the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum but imagery is able to merge the two in terms of function and objective. The functions of imagery in both are to transport the reader from this world to another world full of beauty and wonder and devoid of pain, longing or loneliness.
Nevertheless, the final product as a result of imagery is something that initially one may forget the beginning of the journey due to the convincing nature of the massage that imagery brings. For example, the ending of the Ballad to the moon is nostalgic whereby the speaker as well as the reader is weeping with joy and the need to stay. The same feeling is created by Frye as the speaker talks of shining stars at night, the gentle autumn rain and quiet birds taking flight and one does not want to go back to sob and mourn at the graveyard.
With the help of metaphors and tone, the meaning and objective of these two poems is crystalized by imagery. Imagery is the one device that carries the weight of these two works of art. Without imagery, the two works of art would not have the power to uplift the spirit and change the attitude of the readers by the time that they come to the conclusions of each poem. For example, without the powerful images that Frye employs, it would be futile for the speaker to try and convince the audience that “I am not there. I did not die.” But with imagery, the audience is indeed convinced that the speaker didn’t die and is in fact at a better place.
Works Cited
Beach, Joseph W, and William V. O’Connor. Obsessive Images: Symbolism in Poetry of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2006. Print. 275
Cavanagh, Dermot, Alan Gillis, and Michelle Keown. The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. Print.
Gill, Richard. Palgrave Master Series: Mastering English Literature (3). LONDON: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2006. Print.
Kalz, Jill. Thorns, Horns, and Crescent Moons: Reading and Writing Nature Poems. , 2014. Print.

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