Images torture

December 9, 2010
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If I jumped in front of a train would it hurt? Would I die? Would anyone miss me? Would anyone notice? Questions like these cross people’s minds, at least mine, after a man did just that.

BAM! The T suddenly crushed a man. Did he jump; was he accidentally in the way? What just happened, no one has a clue. But thinking back, I remembered how I saw a man standing just behind the yellow line that people are supposed to not stand on while the T is passing. Just before the T reached him, he jumped right in front of it. It was a suicide. My mind went blank, I began picturing the man under the T, broken veins, broken bones, broken skin, broken heart. But who would want to die this way, the most painful way of all. This image has struck me for a while, but it was a story that I personally didn’t witness, but someone else did.

On Monday, November 29, 2010 a man did just that on the Kendall Square Red Line stop. I was on my way back home on the Green line. But to reach my final destination, I have to change from the Green line to the Red line in Park street. I suddenly began seeing people from the MBTA, in these bright orange jackets, telling people the Red Line was closed. I began wondering what had happened. Later that day, I heard on the radio a man jumped in front of the train in Kendall, which is the stop I get off to go home. It happened just 10 minutes before I arrived at Park Street, I could have been this close to seeing this man jump and maybe done something to stop him. Imagery is a powerful tool, I wasn’t there but my mind keeps repeating the images I just told, my mind keep torturing me. What if I would have arrived ten minutes earlier, I would have seen this man die and my life would have changed forever.

Imagery gives people wisdom, gives people regret and just like that torments as well. Imagery uses details to give the reader a sense of what the author may be talking about; it allows the reader to establish a connection. If you haven’t seen a man jump in front of a train, I’m praying that you haven’t, you may connect the image to a movie or just picture it. You can clearly know what I am talking about. Imagery is the reason, this is my opinion, why people like to read books in general. Without the images the author created for us, we may feel like we are reading an encyclopedia, not even that, just words, very boring words. When this happens, your mind begins to wonder off, thinking about a problem you may be concerned with, what you will do tomorrow morning, all this comes in images your mind plays in your head like a film without sound.

Imagery in poetry is inverted. Inverted by the fact that it has a totally different meaning. In poetry, it may have an underlying message, a message that only the author may understand and those who know what he may be going though. Imagery gives a poem life, makes a poem dance, make the poem speak to you. Pablo Neruda is a world famous Chilean poet who used strong imagery to express his feelings. “As a poet, Neruda's heroic ambition was to offer an imprint of experience which would be universally recognized. As a public man, he sought to voice in the world of action achievable ideals of universal fraternity”(Heptonstall).

“Nevertheless it would be delightful
to startle a notary with a cut lily
Or kill a nun with a blow to the ear.
It would be lovely
To go through the streets with a sexy knife
And shouting until I froze to death.

This stanza taken from Pablo Neruda’s Walking Around shows violent images. To me it shows that Neruda was going through a tough moment in this period of his life. These images may be about his insecurities or doubts in life and religion. This poem starts with him saying, “I happen to be tired of being a man”, through these harsh words and images he keeps repeating, we can understand how he is a troubled man.

Imagery allows the author to bend certain rules, to keep secrets from the audience but yet express his feelings. “Underdrawers, towels and shirts that weep slow, dirty tears.” Sadness lurks between Pablo Neruda’s verses his imagery clearly shows us his feelings, even though he does not tell us why. A powerful tool that if used to one’s advantage can turn dreams into nightmares or nightmares into dreams.

I will leave you with this image and you must decide for yourself what I am thinking? Am I actually suicidal, or am I just shocked by the suicidal man I almost witnessed die? The MBTA, strong, hard, fast, metal. The impact of the wind that blows by you as the train passes by, makes you light headed. How fast is the train going? Would it hurt if I jumped or would I die and not feel a thing? Will my problems be resolved? Will I finally be free?


MLA Citation
Heptonstall, Geoffrey. "A SOBER LIFE OF PABLO NERUDA." Contemporary Review 286.1671 (2005): 243-244. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 8 Dec. 2010.





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