The use of language in the work of New Zealand poets, Lauris Edmond and Denis Glover.

Essay by davet41High School, 12th grade July 2003

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Poetry - Lauris Edmond and Denis Glover

Question : 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 nature. This is portrayed by the clever use of a pun on the word pupil (being tutored and the pupil of an eye) and a metaphor comparing the sun on the horizon as an eye: "And pupil to the horizon's eye". The boy is inspired by nature and "Grew wide with vision". In the next stanza Glover dashes that hopeful mood by showing how adulthood affects the boy's relationship with nature:

"But grew to own fences barbed

Like the words of a quarrel"

The barbed fences (portraying the exploitation of nature) are compared to insults. Glover employs this simile to create a tone of loss and to show how we let desire for material possessions distance us from nature. This universal theme, important to all people, is supported by Glover's...