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Emotions Of Poetry

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Emotions of Poetry In the poem "The Slave Mother," Frances Ellen Watkins Harper uses imagery, figures of speech and voice to help the reader feel the poem. The emotion portrayed by the character is put into words and comes alive. The narration is in third person, which allows the reader to view the poem from the outside in. Imagery is used to help the reader become connected to the characters.

"Heard you that shriek? It rose."(1) The reader immediately uses imagery to visualize hearing a shriek. Personification is given to the shriek when Harper states that the shriek rose. As if the sound has human qualities like a person rising out of bed. Lines 5 and 9 start the same with Harper stating a question "Saw you." The voice implies concern and helps the reader look within and ask the question how in tune the reader is to the poem. "Saw you those hands so sadly clasped-"(5) and "Saw you the sad, imploring eye?"(9) The reader is given a picture of someone who is pleading for something with his or her whole body. As written by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell, "It's the speaker who must provide theseā€¦informing details in the fabric of the poem itself." "She is a mother, pale with fear."(13) Anne Hamilton states when speaking of poets, "His great or lesser contact with inspiration is foreshadowed in the poet's manner of using and combining words." The beginning of the poem paints the image of someone suffering. By line 13 the reader is told who this someone is and she is a mother. The joy this child has brought his mother is described in the body of the poem. The figure of speech with, "A fountain gushing ever new, amid life's desert wild."(27-28) The boy's presence is compared to a fountain of water quenching the dry desert. Life is the desert that needs the boy. The mother needs her son. As stated by Melvyn Bragg, "It is only very rarely that a single reading of a poem will discover all that the work has to offer." When reading and re-reading, "She is a mother, and...