Please analyze the effect of the language (including poetic devices), form, structure, and context of "Absence" by Elizabeth Jennings.

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Imagery and metaphor are used to affect the reader emotionally, allowing us to envision the beauty of the natural scene around the speaker while also helping us to understand how deeply she is affected by the loss of her loved one.

The speaker says that the "fountains sprayed their usual...

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Imagery and metaphor are used to affect the reader emotionally, allowing us to envision the beauty of the natural scene around the speaker while also helping us to understand how deeply she is affected by the loss of her loved one.

The speaker says that the "fountains sprayed their usual steady jet" and "thoughtless birds [...] shook out of the trees"; a "level breeze" blows through the "well-tended" gardens. All of these images, descriptions of sensory experience, combine to create a vivid mental picture for the reader.

This makes it all the more upsetting and unnerving when the speaker describes the "earthquake tremor" that rolls "under all the gentleness" around her in this place; the speaker's thinks of her beloved's absence as a "savage force" so powerful that, to her at least, it feels like an earthquake that shakes everything around her, no matter how serene or beautiful, and so she compares them with this powerful metaphor. These choices convey her sense of loss—of how upsetting it is that nothing seems changed except oneself, something so abstract and difficult to describe—by making it seem tangible and relatable and by comparing the feeling to something with which most of us are very familiar. They appeal to us emotionally, helping us to understand how deep and difficult and nearly literally earth-shattering such a loss is.

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