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The Use Of Language In The Work Of New Zealand Poets, Lauris Edmond And Denis Glover

748 words - 3 pages

Poetry - Lauris Edmond and Denis GloverQuestion : Show how the poet or poets you have studied this year have been creative in their use of language.Denis Glover and Lauris Edmond are both creative writers. They take the everyday language used by ordinary people and create lasting and affecting images. Glover's "Sings Harry - Songs 1 & 2" and Edmond's "Ohakune Fires" are both concerned with man's changing relationship with nature. Each poet sets out to build an overall mood of loss, and they both employ imagery and sound devices to help create this.Glover used imagery to help explain nature. In stanzas 2 and 3 of "Songs 2", Glover personifies nature to show it as a living entity that has a purpose. It is immense, powerful and dangerous. This is shown clearly in the wave imagery. The Tasman Sea "Slashes and tears" and the Pacific's waves are "sheer mountainous anger" that devour New Zealand. Harry, the narrator, observes a boy who learns from and is part of ...view middle of the document...

This universal theme, important to all people, is supported by Glover's creative use of imagery.In "Ohakune Fires", Edmond also uses imagery to build a similar tone. The first stanza contains the language of vigour and battle as bushmen attempt to clear land for farming in the 1930s. Nature is personified to achieve this sense of battle: "trees and men giants against the sky grappling for mastery". Nature loses and the trees are "defeated". This continual personification of nature helps portray the early rural life as harsh but, in the last stanza, Edmond creates a nostalgic tone. She laments the passing of our contact with nature:"and we hold our handsacross a widening space"The widening space is a metaphor for time and we are nostalgic about our harsh (but real) past. Modern life lacks excitement and we have lost something in ourselves with our 'victory' over nature. Both the sense of battle and the mood of nostalgia are brilliantly created through Edmond's imaginative use of language.Both "Ohakune Fires" and "Sings Harry - Songs 1 & 2" have examples of onomatopoeia. As both poems concern themselves with nature, onomatopoeia, coupled with personification, helps convey its life and power. In "Ohakune Fires", mud "gulped down" men and bullocks. Logs "spit and snore". In "Sings Harry", Antarctic ice-foes "grind and mutter". Glover and Edmond try to create a sense of nature that is close to a true experience and onomatopoeia is used creatively to that effect.These poets discuss New Zealand, and the simple words of their poems are appropriate for our colonial experience. Their subjects are men of the land - "not men, but bushmen" (Edmond); I'm but the cabbage tree" (Glover) - and their use of the vernacular is suitable. It is a testament to their imaginative powers that they can still create complex imagery with this simple language.Glover and Edmond employ imagery and onomatopoeia to display nature as a force to be reckoned with, and then contrast this with a mood of loss when man's relationship with nature changes. This theme is common in New Zealand poetry, and the poets' use of direct, everyday language must ensure a wider readership. This creativity with language makes Edmond's and Glover's writing enjoyable and relevant for New Zealanders.

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