Figurative Language And Imagery In Robert Frost's Nature Poetry

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Imagery is the use of figurative language to create vivid mental pictures and sensations in the reader 's mind. Authors use it to add depth to their work and connect with their audience. Poems rich in imagery fundamentally speak to the senses and Robert Frost’s nature poetry in particular uses the technique well. Robert Frost himself often denied he was a “nature” poet: "I am not a nature poet. There is almost always a person in my poems" (Fagan), but he is probably best known for his many nature based poems. In his book, The Pastoral Art of Robert Frost, author John F. Lynen writes, “Frost sees in nature a symbol of man’s relation to the world” (146). In three of his poems, “Mowing,” “Birches,” and “After Apple-Picking,” Frost offers …show more content…
Frost’s visual imagery of “black branches up a show-white trunk” (55) paints a graphic picture of the trees as they sway. The sun’s warmth “makes them shed crystal shells / Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust” (10, 11). While the poet recognizes the winter ice storms are what actually make the birches bend down, his imagination shows him a boy riding the trees over and over again in a joyous game of childhood freedom. The visual tool of the birches creates the image of an opportunity to flee from reality, to “get away from earth awhile / And then come back to it and begin over” (48, …show more content…
Kinesthetic imagery is language characterized by movement or tension in the body, and tactile imagery is a written expression of what something feels like. When writers use tactile imagery, they attempt to describe with words the feeling of touch such that readers can actually feel the sensation or at least imagine they do, as evident in Frost’s poem, “After Apple-Picking.” The poem uses touch to magnify the imagery of the words and the feelings they evoke in an old man’s dreamworld (death?) Even after he has finished, the apple-picker can still feel the rungs of the ladder beneath his feet: “My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round” (21, 22). The movement of the ladder, as well, is described in the poem: "I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend" (23). The speaker, in his dream state, seems to be confused about the experience he is having, “I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight” (9), but also does not seem troubled by it. Frost uses striking nature imagery to illustrate simple honest work, and a day of harvesting apples to "Cherish in hand, lift down and not let fall” (31) offers a tactile reference to an unending

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