The Pulse of Poetry
The Pulse of Poetry

The Pulse of Poetry

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  • Pages: 3 (1358 words)
  • Published: June 29, 2018
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Imagery is the heart of all poetry; it serves to enrich the plain literate meaning of its words. Imagery is in sense a incomprehensible language defined by a blend of symbol, allegory and myth. These three instruments of imagery bring limitless possibilities of analysis and serves to induce the senses of the human mind.

The Bull Moose by Alden Nowlan is abound with strong mythical images and allegorical statements of humanity. The “Prize Cat” by E.J Pratt is a similar poem both in the literate and allegorical sense. Both poems portray a somewhat similar underlying message of human nature but use different methods of the literate to convey it.The literate narrative of “The Bull Moose” is basic and straightforward, it is simply about a “Bull Moose” who has been liberated, and now lives among the great Canadian wilderness “of white spruce and cedar” and “Tamarack Swamps”. The Moose becomes trapped by a “pole-fenced pasture” and is tormented by the local people while the young men “pour beer down his throat”. The Moose is ultimately shot dead by the wardens who feared he could be dangerous.What underlies the literate is a series of images and symbols, within a large allegorical framework, that depicts a strong message of the horrifying cruelty of mankind, toward each other and the natural world.

Nowlan attempts to make a statement on humanity in reference to the treatment of Christ during biblical times. Within the poem are subtle mythical and biblical references to the moose, portraying it as Christ the martyr of freedom and c

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ivilization. This however only becomes clear in the 5th stanza when Nowlan makes a reference to a “purple cap of thistles” place upon the moose’s head. The first image of power and superiority can be found straight from the title. The animal is not just any animal but a moose, large, powerful a Canadian symbol of our wilderness. The moose is not only moose but a “Bull Moose” the great leader, a king, of its species. The image within this title is not eagerly apparent, but a necessity amongst the allegorical message within the context of the poem.The 1st stanza creates a strong image of the power of the moose.

The Bull Moose, comes down from atop a “mountain”, this image represents Christ, coming forth from heaven, above all else, as the son of god. The moose walks “down through a purple mist” amongst “white spruce and cedar”. To compliment the image of the mountain, the symbols of colour and smell, suggest an image of perfection and royalty. Like the mythical white robe and unnatural mist that ever so often is used to portray Christ and God; the moose is surrounded by a forest of perfection complete with the clean “white” trees and the crisp pleasant smell of “cedar”.The second stanza begins an almost parallel sequence of events with the “Bull Moose” in the narrative and “Christ” within the allegorical framework. The moose becomes trapped with “no place left to go” and “stands with the cattle” as they turn away and “move to the other end of the field”. The Bull Moose is

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helpless forgotten by the “cattle” his own kind, creating the image of not only Christ being ignored by his people but our selfish humanity in general, whether towards ourselves or nature caring only for ones personal fortune. Nowlan continues his story, and in the narrative adds a stronger message of are treatment towards the natural world, creating a perfect symbolic contrast, the children “tease him” and young men “snicker”, as they try to “pour beer down his throat”.

The “Bull Moose”, like nature is powerless, unaided, and can not defend.The narrative is almost self explanatory, but within the mythical parallel is an image of the torture and cruelty against Christ, and all of history’s great martyrs, despite the torture, they, like an “old tolerant collie” does nothing. In the 5th stanza the poems only direct reference to Christ is made, the moose lets “a giggling girl plant a little purple cap of thistles on his head”. This is a very clear reference to the same thorns that were placed upon Christ, and is yet another symbol of human cruelty within the image. The 6th and 7th stanza is a conclusion to both stories; Nowlan recreates the image of the death of Christ symbolically through the death of the “Bull Moose”.Nowlan again produces a final image; the moose as a divine a “scaffolded king”, “gathers his strength” and “roars”. As the “Bull Moose” falls “the young men lean on the automobile horns” and like a conquering army rejoice in their content with no knowledge of the pain they have inflicted. The allegory in this poem is really the chronicle of Christ, but what Nowlan very effectively accomplishes is to use a moose and transform it into an image of a king, a helpless martyr, a holy creature, one who like god should be above all else.

In doing so, Pratt builds a powerful statement of the violent nature of the human race, against all the innocent, helpless members of this world.E. J. Pratt’s “The Prize Cat” is a short poem but nonetheless contains strong symbolic reference in an underlying allegorical framework. Pratt attempts to make a potent statement of the violence within civilization’s past, now hidden within the faultless label of the domesticated world. Like the story of Christ his allegorical figure lies in history during the British Occupation and massacre in Abyssinian, Ethiopia during the 19th century. In the first 3 stanzas before the reference to Abyssinia; Pratt’s, use of imagery, surrounds his description of the cat.The cat acts as a symbol of the British and the developed world at large but does not become apparent until the last stanza of the poem.

Unlike the “Bull moose” the cat is the only symbol in the 1st three stanzas but Pratt’s use of descriptive writing paints a clear image of the allegorical figure he is trying to create. Pratt uses phrases such as “pure blood” and “soft mannered” a clear description of a domesticated cat, but also the image of a cultured English gentleman. The image of an educated man and sense of calmness in his sound is developed, in the

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