Professor Richard Wakefield
October 6, 2012
Elements of Language in the poem “Curfew”
The author of the poem “Curfew” uses two elements of language, symbols and images. A “symbol” in Michael Meyers book “Poetry,” is defined as a person, an object, an image, a word, or an event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than its literal significance (153). Michael Meyers defines “image” as a word, phrase, or figure of speech that addresses the senses, suggesting mental pictures of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or actions (105). The symbols they use promote the end of war and project purity, cleanness, and immortality. In the poem white birds rose from the Tigris, which is a river that flows from turkey through Iraq and Bagdad. The author paints images of a quiet and serene setting and ends the poem with an image of “an injured man who cupped pieces of his friend’s brain.” The author of this poem uses both symbols and images to express to people that they wants an end to war.
By looking at the symbols in the poem they reveal what the author wants, an end to war. One of the symbols in the poem is “the bats flying out by the hundreds” is a symbol of being free, unafraid, and no longer needing to hide. All of the bats can fly out into the sky together without having to worry about a bomb killing them. White birds are a symbol for cleanness and purity. The white birds flying from the Tigris at the end of the poem are a symbol for an end to war, leading to pure life. The way it will be when the war is over.
The author of this poem uses imagery to paint a picture of what it is like to be affected my war. The author sets up the poem at the beginning as a peaceful and relaxing setting which makes the ending more dramatic. They start the poem out with “bats fly[ing] out by the hundreds” and “Policemen sunbath[ing] on traffic islands.” As the poem goes on there are images of children helping their mothers,...
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