Imagery and Perceptions in "Filthy Landscape and "August"

Essay by L7LushUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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The poems "Filthy Landscape" by Charles Simic and "August" by Sophie Cabot Black are both centered around the season summer, yet the images used to describe the season summer in each poem create very different perceptions of what summer is. This essay will discuss the use of images to evoke summer in "Filthy Landscape" and in "August." It will also explain how these poems' images create very different perceptions of a summer landscape.

The images used to bring about summer in "Filthy Landscape" are hot and sultry. They describe a summer day in a sexual way. To read the title of this poem one may think the poem is about littering, yet when the poem is read, one finds that this piece of literature has nothing to do with litter at all. It is actually a sexually vivid description of a summer landscape.

The sexuality in "Filthy Landscape" appears to escalate from stanza to stanza.

This escalation of sexuality is first seen in stanza one in lines three and four where Simic uses personification to say that the wildflowers are moving in the breezes. The personification in stanza one can be read as a prelude to sex or as a poem about summer, a prelude to the beauty that is to be seen. The sexuality in "Filthy Landscape" intensifies in the second stanza in line five, in which Simic is obviously playing with the words by writing, "A ditch opens its

legs." In line five the word ditch rhymes with a word commonly used for spiteful females and it can be clearly and easily seen if one simply faces the letter d in ditch to the right. In the second stanza the reader is given the image of a ditch in the midst of a grove scattered with fruit trees,