poetry imagery Essay

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Joseph Taylor
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is often used to describe how powerful an image is in terms of its capturing power. Images are used by human in a lot of different ways. The most common usage is to capture information. Aside from capturing information, it is also used to evaluate, compare and recall. With its vast abilities, imagery, especially visual mental imagery, is vital to human intelligence. It is a good complement with other mind based system to enhance human intelligence. In poems such as; “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” “Dulce et Decorum Est,” and “The Man He Killed” all have to due with war. Which stick out from different poems, because of the imagery the poets use which allows use to gather information on how war is really like.

The poem “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell is a very short poem. However, the words he chose are so powerful it creates a portal which allows you to gather information about how war is like and also give you insight of what goes through a soldiers mind minutes just before dying. The airman first in his mother’s womb; then in the belly of the plane; then in the air above the earth, “loosed from its dream of life” (550) where he wakens to his own death. As his life flashes right before his eyes, he then awakens from dreams only to a nightmare, never to life. This alone just makes you imagine the horror of war and makes you think how fast your life could end.

In Wilfred Owens war poem “ Dulce et Decorum Est” talks about his own first hand experience with the horrors of the gas warfare in World War I. The narrator beings by painting a scenario for the readers of tired fatigue soldiers retreating from the front lines of the battle field. In the soldiers attempted to retreat suddenly, someone shouts out Gas! and the men go into an ecstasy of fumbling to put on masks before the deadly poison can take their lives. All but one is successful. The narrator then describes how he watches one of his fellow soldiers die hopelessly in front of him. The image of that dying soldier is one that can never leave the narrator. The sight of the dying soldier haunts the narrators dream as the soldier “plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning” (680) this leads to him making his conclusion of how it’s not a