“Poets often use unusual imagery that force us to think in new ways about familiar things.”

“Poets often use unusual imagery that force us to think in new ways about familiar things.” Throughout the many poems read in class, all of them had many examples of unusual imagery, specifically in latest poems we’ve read. Like in “The City Planners” the author uses very abnormal adjectives to describe certain aspects of the suburbs, for example, “when the houses, capsized, will slide obliquely into the clay seas, gradual as glaciers tat right now nobody notices.” Houses capsizing? Clay seas? The author describes this as the suburbs, yet I’m pretty sure none of us have seen any of this while looking at a picture of the suburbs right? I’m assuming that the author isn’t speaking in literal terms, but rather using the imagery of houses as boats, or glaciers gone without notice as a way of catching the reader’s attention and forcing them to ponder the phrase, thus letting the reader infer or assume the meaning behind those confusing words, metaphors, decryptions, or whatever it may be.

Another successful attempt in forcing at least me to think in a different perspective is in the poem “The Planners”, one of the many examples of the author’s unusual imagery is “ They build and will not stop. Even the sea draws back and the skies surrender.” At first, when I read this statement, I felt very confused, but then once I understood it, I felt awed by how the author managed to relay the great limits to which the “building” would go to. The statement could be pictured as the sea drawing back far enough that all that’s left is an empty beach or the sky raising a white flag to “the planners.” However, once I took a moment to picture this image in a different way, I pictured the building (v) continuing, not stopping for any limits. To further explain I mean you know the common saying “The sky’s the limit,” I think the author is trying to say the exact opposite, where the sky isn’t the limit so the constant building keeps getting higher and higher and spreads out more and more, enough so that the sea is forced to “draw back” and the sky must “surrender” and let the development or structures being built enter its territory. The statement is basically a complex form of personification, ultimately making the description a lot more puzzling yet still quite intriguing.

I think from just these two examples, a lot can be said about poets’ use of unusual imagery, and these are only two out of the many instances where poets describe things, people, or places in unusual, interesting, or just even weird ways .

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