Analysis of the poem Tenement Room: Chicago

Essay by eryka_sJunior High, 8th grade June 2004

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The poem "Tenement Room: Chicago" is simply about the same thing as its title says, a tenement room in Chicago. To show the mood of the room the poet uses imagery. When the poet uses imagery, he uses words to create mental images using the five senses of seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and touching. The poet here tries to show how the room and everything in it is broken, beaten, and old with visual imagery. In the second stanza the port goes on, object after object, describing each. In verses 11 through 17, he describes these objects.

A crippled table, gray from greasy water:

Two drooping chairs, spiritless as wounded soldiers

shoved into a prison hole;

A cringing bed, age-weary;

Corseted with wire, squats a flabby stove

In this corner slumps a punished trunk;

Through the lone window, broke-pained,

light and weather spill the dust-defeated and splintered floor.

By using adjectives such as corseted with wire, the reader can picture in his mind a tangled web of wire, which an out of condition stove sits on. The visual images help the see what the poet is seeing. Images can also create a mood. By using adjectives that show that the objects in the room are old and broken, it makes a gloomy mood in the poem.

In this particular poem, there is also connotation. Connotation is the implied meaning of a word or phrase. The right connotation helps with the picture presented. For example with the verse the day creeps slowly, helps show how time moves slowly. If the poet did not think about the connotation, the word might clash with eth picture presented. For example if it said the day scrambled slowly would clash because the word scramble makes the reader think about going quickly...