Imagery

Water Picture by May Swenson

In the pond in the park
all things are doubled:
Long buildings hang and
wriggle gently. Chimneys
are bent legs bouncing
on clouds below. A flag
wags like a fishhook
down there in the sky.

The arched stone bridge
is an eye, with underlid
in the water. In its lens
dip crinkled heads with hats
that don’t fall off. Dogs go by,
barking on their backs.
A baby, taken to feed the
ducks, dangles upside-down,
a pink balloon for a buoy.

Treetops deploy a haze of
cherry bloom for roots,
where birds coast belly-up
in the glass bowl of a hill;
from its bottom a bunch
of peanut-munching children
is suspended by their
sneakers, waveringly.

A swan, with twin necks
forming the figure 3,
steers between two dimpled
towers doubled. Fondly
hissing, she kisses herself,
and all the scene is troubled:
water-windows splinter,
tree-limbs tangle, the bridge
folds like a fan.

[retrieved from http://www.poets.org]

May Swenson was born Anna Thilda May Swenson on May 28, 1913, in Logan, Utah. She attended Utah State University, Logan, and received a bachelor’s degree in 1934. Since her first collection of poems, Another Animal, was published by Scribner in 1954, Swenson’s work has been admired for its adventurous word play and erotic exuberance. Her poems have been compared to those by poets E. E. Cummings and Gertrude Stein, as well as Elizabeth Bishop, with whom she was engaged in regular, often frequent correspondence from 1950 until Bishop’s death in 1979. Four months before her death, Swenson wrote: “The best poetry has its roots in the subconscious to a great degree. Youth, naivety, reliance on instinct more than learning and method, a sense of freedom and play, even trust in randomness, is necessary to the making of a poem.”

Definition: visually descriptive or figurative language, esp. in a literary work.

[retrieved from http://www.meriam-webster.com]

Right off the bat, there is obviously a lot of imagery in the poem. Swenson uses descriptive words to create vivid images in the reader’s mind. She begins by saying, “In the pond in the park/all things are doubled.” This is crucial to the meaning of the poem, because she continues by describing what everything looks like when it’s doubled. In my opinion, there isn’t a particular meaning to the poem, it just describes nature.

This image represents the poem, because it represents the doubling of things in the poem.

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