In the text of his poem "Elegy for a Forest Clear - Cut by the Weyerhaeuser Company", David Wagoner develops an emotional response in the reader. This is developed with figurative language and a connotative theme. The poem gets the reader to feel sorry for the fallen forest.
The few lines of the poem generate a powerful visual image as the denotation and connotation of the wording is analyzed. The text utilized much verbiage that was unfamiliar to this reader. In the first few sentences there are many words that have older denotation. For example, the definition of the word nettles is displayed as "any of various prickly or stinging plants" (Webster, 2004). Its connotation has hidden meaning because upon viewing the "graveyard", as Wagoner put it, the connotation can mean his emotions became prickly or were stinging. As Wagoner writes, "Nettles and groundsel first out of the jumble" (Wagoner, 2000, p105), he develops a likeness of stinging visual implications as the term jumble further describes this image of "a mass of things mingled together without order or plan" (Webster, 2004).
The implications of death and graveyard when coupled with the generated image of a mass of stumps, craters, and ground plants that are mingled together generate an image totally opposite of what ones image of a forest should be. This "anti-forest" imagery begins to develop an emotional response from the reader as the reader begins to feel for the now removed forest. The image of chaos in the field begins to join itself to the further personification of the forest.
The personification of the removed forest is developed with initial statements about its death and the likening of the remaining field to a graveyard. Wagoner makes statements such as "your shadows", "your roots", and "you fell...