Poets use unusual images to..

‘Poet often uses unusual images that force us to think in new ways about familiar things’

To be honest, this idea is the basic reason why I don’t like to read poems. If you read any poems, most of you will agree with my opinion that poets confuse readers by using complicated vocabulary that we cannot describe in a familiar way. However, there is a hidden trick from poets. I haven’t realised this for a long time. When readers get confused or lost about understanding the poems, they begin to look back at some words, very carefully and read the whole stanzas again and again until they get little clues. What poets really want us to do is to keep considering about their veiled message under those words.

A poem called, ‘The Planners’ by Boey Kim Cheng is one of good examples that shows how well do poets use odd imagery to force us to think in new ways. It says: ‘They erase the flaws … with dental dexterity’. The poet compares two different objects to describe the image of new town: development and dental dexterity. Dental dexterity suggests an idea of replacing an aching tooth with a brand-new one, just like a quick development in any towns. I think Boey Kim Cheng wants to tell how fast the development occurs alike replacing tooth – it is a sudden that an old tooth get pulled out. Another phrase: ‘All gaps are plugged … of shining teeth’, describes the fresh town as ‘shining teeth’ like ‘gleaming gold’ – new roads and houses are placed which even shine. Although it all seems like the poet is saying comfortableness of living in a new fashioned town, however this poem contains a theme to keep the old things that we have been using for centuries rahter than change everything in a sudden.

The idea, mentioned above is being used in most of the poems that often expresses two or more meanings in it. ‘The Planners’ is just one example to indicate the idea. I hope that anyone who had the same opinion as me, could change their thoughts and look carefully and find out what are the poets want to tell us.


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