“Poets often use unusual images that force us to think in new ways about familiar things” This makes you think twice, about what the poets are actually trying to convey to the readers. Some examples from poems would be:
“A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti,“peacocks with a hundred eyes” (which can be found on the second stanza fourth line). Why would a peacock be able to have a “hundred eyes”? The poets is actually trying to describe when a peacocks open its tail, the end circle of its tail looks like eyes, and the beauty and specialty of a peacock tail that is what the poet is trying is trying to describe in the first place.
“The Planners” by Boey Kim Cheng. On the second stanza third line “knock off useless blocks with dental dexterity”, “All gaps plugged with gleaming gold”, (fourth line) “The country wears perfect rows of shining teeth”(sixth line) and the “drilling goes right through the fossils of last century” (thirteenth line), “dental dexterity”, ”gaps plugged”, “shinning teeth”, “drilling” are words that are related to dentistry. But how does the progress of industrialization (the theme of the poem) are related to dentistry? You would be curious why would the poet use it to use this image to show the progressing of industry.
“Summer Farm MacCaig” by Norman MacCaig. Personally, I think this poem contain a large number of usual imagery. On the second stanza, first line “a hen stares at nothing with one eye”. This makes you question, what the poet is trying to show by using this description. Since the word “stare” is used, it can be assume that the poet is looking at something (possibly his surrounding) and normally when you look at something, you would not look at it with using of your eye but with both of your eyes. Since the poet uses “one eye” it can be surmise that the poet may be absentmindedly gazing his surrounding, which show that he is not concentrating. On the third lime of the second stanza the poet also used “a swallow falls, and flickering though the barn”. Now, you would be thinking how would a swallow be “flickering”? This actually shows how observant the poet is. The “flickering” in this line actually describes the style of how the swallow is flying (which is rather different than other birds); this line can also contradict what the poets say in the beginning of the second stanza.
“Poets use unusual images that force us to think in a new way about familiar things.” Although once you find the meaning of what the poet described, you’d find out that you would be able to learn different points that you never knew about the same thing.