Howard Nemerov: Poems Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Howard Nemerov: Poems Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

The sea

In the poem "Art Song’’, the narrator describes an evening which he spent near the sea, holding a feather in his hand. The sea is described as being extremely violent and restless when compared with everything else described in the poem. The sea is used in this context as a symbol, to suggest the inner turmoil experienced by the narrator.

Naked body

The poem entitled "Young Woman’’ is told from the perspective of an unmarried woman who stands in front of a mirror and looks at her naked body. The woman vows to never let a man look at her naked body until she marries. Towards the end of the poem, it is clear that the narrator refers to her body in a symbolic way, the body being used in this context to symbolize a person’s desires and feelings which a person may wish to keep hidden from the rest of the world.

The whip

In the poem "The Dancer’s Reply’’ the narrator starts the poem by claiming he is different from the rest of the people in this world and claims he is not subject to the whip like other people are. The whip is used here as a symbol, standing for the obligations one person has. These obligations can cause at time physical pain and emotional pain which is compared with a whip which keeps a person in line.

Symbol for technological advancements

In the poem "Fugue’’ the narrator mentions how the world changed extremely quickly from his childhood to the present time. The narrator links the rapid pace in which many people live their lives with the appearance of cars all over the place. The cars thus become a symbol which stands here for the way in which the modern technological advancements changed the world in a short period of time.

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