Janet Frame Essays

1992 Words Feb 4th, 2013 8 Pages
Model Essay – The Poetry of Janet Frame

What features of Janet Frame’s poetry contribute to the distinctive character and voice of her poems? Discuss.

There are several features of Janet Frame’s poetry that contribute to the distinctive character and voice of her poems. Without a doubt, the most distinctive characteristic of her poetry is her use of simple, yet extraordinarily rich imagery. Another characteristic of her work is her focus on the natural world. Yet another aspect of Frame’s work is that many of her poems deal with the themes of acceptance and the growth from innocence to experience.

Frame’s use of vivid imagery, bursting with meaning, is certainly what is most memorable about her poetry. She uses images familiar to
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She describes it as:

“…helplessly rocking to and fro in the overpowering entirety of a tree’s night and day and night and day.”

By creating these images in our mind Frame’s message becomes clear. In the poem she is speaking of humankind’s insensitivity towards nature and is criticising the way the innocent natural world is destroyed in favour of progress and the concrete jungle. We cannot help but hear the ironic, sarcastic tone behind the word “tastefully” when she writes:

“Motels wait to be born; a new progeny, tastefully walled
With wisteria and clematis”

Another distinctive characteristic of Frame’s poetry is her focus on the natural world. In the first volume of her autobiography To the Island, she writes that her earliest memories of life are all set outside – “in the cow byre, in the neighbour’s orchard, unde the walnut tree” She also writes about her “overwhelming sense of anticipation and excitement at the world” and “everything Outside.” A strong sense of her love for the natural world is apparent in her poetry. In The Chrysalids and The Tree she shows compassion for the natural environment and its struggle to survive against the wiles of human beings. In the last three lines of The Chrysalids, Frame writes

“…Is it too late to soften to a new shape and dimension the hard truth that parallel worlds will never meet?”

The “parallel worlds” that Frame speaks of are

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