So, I’m still talking about poetry imagery, this chapter in Kennedy’s Introduction to Poetry textbook has a lot of poetry – almost to hint that this is a rather important part of the poetic process. Hmmm….
What I’ve noticed so far in my many “imagery” postings, is that imagery is used mostly to convey a mood or a tone. In “Emperor of Ice Cream” with have playful images mixed with images of dead women, this evokes a frightening tone of perverse innocence, something very wrong has gone on here. In Emily Dickinson’s “A Route of Evanescence” she sites color “a revolving Wheel -/A Resonance of Emerald-” and natural images “every Blossom on the Bush” along with an exotic location “mail from Tunis”. Here we experience a feeling of vibrancy and exotic beauty to describe a bird; we’re certain that this bird must be very beautiful and make her feel very alive and excited when she sees it. Perhaps she is trying to say that even a small bird when looked at carefully can transport you (your mind or your spirit) to another more beautiful world much as poetry can.
In “Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter” there is a feeling of intimacy and serenity. The streets are deserted and the only things that move are the swirls of snow. The poet even chooses the word “privacy” to describe the night.
It feels like I’ve often felt wandering the snowy nights of my city where everything is monotone and softly lit because of the way the light bounces off of the snow. Everyone has decided to stay indoors and shiver around their fires. Perhaps the comfort will incite an intimate conversation and they learn something about each other they never knew. But I’m alone in the frosty air, queen of all the domain. Sound is buffered by the blanket; there’s only the quiet crunch of my boots and, for once, I can take my time to explore and understand my surroundings. This is what snow late at night in the city feels like.
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter
by Robert Bly
It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted.
The only things moving are swirls of snow.
As I lift the mailbox door, I feel its cold iron.
There is a privacy I love in this snowy night.
Driving around, I will waste more time.