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The "Seafarer" is an Anglo Saxon elegy that begins with a concrete description of the sea and ends with abstractions about the past, faith, and rules of conduct. The beginning of the poem is filled with images that convey the miserable life of one sailing the north seas. Images are descriptive words and phrases that appeal to our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
The images used in the poem appeal to many different senses. We have auditory (hearing) images of the "smashing surf," "the deah-noise of birds," the "mewing of gulls," the echoes of the "icy-feathered terns," the "eagle's screams." We also have such tactile (touch) images as the "icy bands" of sleet, the "ice-cold sea" as well as the visual (sight) images of the tossig salt waves and the "towering sea."
These images work to make the reader feel as if he or she is experiening the sea just as the seafarer did long ago. We understand the sea's hardships--the cold, the loneliness, and the danger--and the difficult life that the seafarer has chosen.
Imagery refers to the technique a writer uses to create, in words, a picture in the reader's mind through the use of figurative language. Not only does the author use the technique for visualization, but also to enhance and emphasize a specific image or sentiment.
The translation of The Seafarer by Ezra Pound exhibits many such powerful representations and clearly creates images of the trials and tribulations a sailor has, or had to, endure.
The poem's first two lines present alliteration, a technique in which the consonants are repeated in consecutive words:
May I for my own self song's truth reckon,Journey's jargon
My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are
Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth,
Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,
Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,
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