Essay by acousticplywoodA+, November 2007

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How does one define the verb to "play"? The idea of "play" is such an abstract concept with no right or wrong meaning to it. However, with the literary works of both May Swenson and Roger Jack, we can obtain a sense of what "play" really is. The poem "The Centaur" by May Swenson and "The Pebble People"by Roger Jack are two very insightful pieces of literature that tells us that "play" is about imagination and creativity.

In "The Centaur" by May Swenson, the poet uses vivid imagery and detailed language to convey her fantasy as a child. The poem tells the story of a ten year old girl who is obsessed with horses. May Swenson expresses how she is one with the horse. Descriptive Imagery phrases such as, "I'd straddle and canter him fast" give us the sense of the speed of the horse. We can witness the idea of "play" through the ten year old girl's imagination.

As the poem goes on, she states that "she was the horse and the rider" this initially tells us that she is the horse. Also, the narrator's implication of the dust being "lovely" tells us that it made her feet resemble hooves. Despite the fact that she was only human, children imitate animals because it allows them to take on powers and control over their lives that they don't normally have elsewhere.

In Roger Jack's "The Pebble People", we also see the idea of "play" being conveyed. Roger Jack tells a story of a young boy named Ben Adam who enjoys playing one of his favorite games - "Making Rocks War Dance". Ben's attitude toward the play is very thoughtful and we can witness his imagination at its best. He becomes one with the pebbles that he had collected. He...