What are the Literary and Aesthetic Features found in Denise Scanlan's poem "Perfumed Pioneers"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This work is an example of what is sometimes termed "folk poetry" or "outback poetry", written in simple, albeit extremely awkward language, with deep feeling if a striking absence of literary skill. 

The first major literary techniques used in the poem are rhyme and meter. The poem is written in quatrains rhymed ABCB. Although the author seems to intend some version of ballad meter, the rhythm tends to be awkward and irregular.

The closest the poem comes to using concrete imagery is the phrase "hard and barren land," but even that seems to be a generic cliche rather than evoking some specific visual or tactile detail. 

The phrase "she stands beside her man" is an allusion to a phrase popularized in the country song "Stand by Your Man" by Nashville star Tammy Wynette, which also expresses a similarly retrograde ideology concerning the role of women. 

The final lines, in their direct address to the reader, use a technique known as "apostrophe", a term used for address to an absent, inanimate or imagined audience, that in drama sometimes breaks the fourth wall of the theatrical space. 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,916 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question