Our Grandmothers by Maya Angel

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Imagery In The Poem “Our Grandmothers” by Maya Angelou

Image (Imagery) – Descriptive poetry flourished. One basic meaning for ‘image’ is provided by that context, but other, looser and more treacherous, meanings have accreted: any sensuous effect provoked by literary language; any striking language; metaphor; symbol; any figure.

Maya Angelou’s poem, “Our Grandmother’s,” vividly exemplifies a sense of imagery that is brought to life. The most effective way that, Maya Angelou presents imagery to the readers is through the setting. Firstly, at the beginning of the poem the narrator describes the current state of the main character and gives a brief description of the setting through imagery. “She lay, skin down on the moist dirt, / … the whispers of leaves…/ the longing of hounds…” (“Our Grandmothers”, 1-4). These lines are very effective to the readers because the imagery behind these lines allows the readers to feel the cool breeze blowing, hear the leaves rustling and even sense the smell of fear; everything that one could think of to enhance the setting of a plantation. Reading this poem is an escape from modern day life. As readers, we observe everything that the narrator and the main character experience. To fulfill the imagination of the readers, Maya Angelou concentrates primarily as to how the readers are going to interpret certain events. Secondly, the setting was also illustrated through imagery when the narrator says, “She stands before the abortion clinic, / confounded by the lack of choices…/ …On lonely street corners, / hawking her body” (“Our Grandmothers”, 94-106). These few selected lines are important to the development of imagery through the setting. Here the narrator comments, that even though slavery was a thing of the past, it still exists in modern day society. The readers feel as if they are...
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