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Could someone please help me identify imagery in this poem, "A Late Aubade" by Richard...

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jonz | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted April 5, 2013 at 7:31 AM via web

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Could someone please help me identify imagery in this poem, "A Late Aubade" by Richard Wilbur?

In the following poem, identify the literal images only (do not identify any figurative images):

A Late Aubade
By Richard Wilbur
 
You could be sitting now in carrel
Turning some liver-spotted page,
Or rising in an elevator-cage
Toward Ladies' Apparel.
 
You could be planting a raucous bed
Of salvia, in rubber gloves,
Or lunching through a screed of someone's loves
With pitying head.
 
Or making some unhappy setter
Heal, or listening to a bleak
Lecture on Schoenberg's serial technique.
Isn't this better?
 
Think of all the time you are not
Wasting, and would not care to waste,
Such things, thank God, not being to your taste.
Think what a lot
 
Of time, by woman's reckoning,
You've saved, and so may spend on this.
You who had rather lie in bed and kiss
Than anything.
 
It's almost noon, you say? If so,
Time flies, and I need not rehearse
The rosebuds-theme of centuries of verse.
If you must go,
 
Wait for a while, then slip downstairs
And bring us up some chilled white wine,
And some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine
Ruddy-skinned pears.
 
Are the images?
1. Visual images (sight)
2. Auditory images (sounds)
3. Tactile images (touch or textures)
4. Gustatory images (taste)
5. Gustatory odors (smell)
6. Kinetic and kinesthetic images (movement)
 
 
Are the following correct responses? Have I missed any? Have I identified too many?
 
Thanks for your help!!
 
My response:
Sitting now in carrel
Turning some liver-spotted page
Rising in an elevator-cage
Planting a raucous bed of salvia, in rubber gloves
Lunching through a screed of someone's loves with pitying head
Making some unhappy setter heal
Listening to a bleak lecture
Lie in bed and kiss
Wait for a while
Slip downstairs
Bring us up some chilled white wine, and some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine ruddy-skinned pears.

2 Answers | Add Yours

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2013 at 11:24 AM (Answer #1)

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I think you have gotten all the literal images, although you have not specified what types they are. I won't attempt to classify them, since you haven't asked for that in your question. However, I hope you intend to do this if you are writing a paper. Obviously the chilled white wine, blue cheese, crackers and pears are gustatory images, and the pear skins are also visual images.

I think you might leave out "Wait for a while" and "Slip downstairs." These are not really images, are they? Slipping downstairs would be an image if she were actually doing it--but she isn't.

If you are writing a paper you would do well to use complete sentences rather than just submitting a list. You could make a good impression by define the word "aubade." It is explained in detail in the Wikipedia article which you can access by the reference link below (I hope!). It is a French word and is pronounced oh-bahd, with the accent on the second syllable.

Richard Wilbur is a prominent modern American poet. You might say a few words about him. See the other reference link below. He calls his poem "A Late Aubade" because an aubade is a traditional morning love song, as you can read in the Wikipedia article, and in his poem it is "almost noon."

They are obviously in an upstairs bedroom. One wonders about their relationship. Whose house is it? Are they married? Is she married to someone else?

Sources:

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jonz | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:53 PM (Answer #2)

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Thank you for your very helpful answer! I really appreciate it! I did classify the images. That was the easy part.;-) I was just worried about whether I had all the literal images right.

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