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Word Count: 1,133
Imagery is an important-perhaps the most important-device used to communicate meaning in poetry Where other forms of literature can sometimes be over a thousand pages long poetry is usually much shorter The poet must get his or her point across in only a few pages and one of the best ways to condense a long story or message is to use imagery The possible uses for symbolism and imagery in poetry are endless and a talented poet can use a single image to make many different statements An example of this kind of versatility can be seen by comparing two poems that use similar images Aphra Behns The Disappointment and Walther Von Der Vogelwiedes Dancing Girl both use the image of a girl in very different ways to deliver similar messages Much of the time figurative imagery is used by the poet to speak some underlying meaning as in symbolism However it is much easier for the reader to understand this type of imagery if the context of the poem is clear This can be accomplished through the use of another type of imagery called descriptive imagery Descriptive imagery is not necessarily symbolic but is used by the poet to describe physical sensation the state of mind of the poet season and time of day and the atmosphere and mood of the setting Furthermore the poet often uses descriptive imagery to underscore other important elements in a poem The selection of detail and the vividness imparted to images help create tone meaning and characterization Griffith 90 Both Dancing Girl and The Disappointment use descriptive imagery in this way In the first stanza of Dancing Girl the poet gives the girl a garland of flowers to wear Vogelweide goes on to describe the girl as pretty and reinforces this by saying that she is worthy of the lovely flowers as well as priceless stones He describes her shining eyes and gracious movements The poet also conveys
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