One of the literacy devices used in “Neglect” is imagery. Towards the beginning of the poem, the author uses it in the following quote, “ skew the sap’s / passage, blacken leaves, dry the bark and heart” (lines 5-6). This quote is an example imagery because it explains what the author sees and how it affects him. It contributes to the poem because it gives the reader a feeling, in the beginning, of how the author sees this tragedy and prepares the reader for his thoughts throughout the rest of the poem.
A second example of imagery is towards the end, “ What remains is this armload of apple wood/ now feeding the stove’s smolder” (14-15). This is an example of imagery because it lets you picture the sad end to the life of the apple tree and helps the narrator get the message thru in a satisfying manner. It contributes to the poem because it lets the reader connect to how the tree will no longer be there and how the narrator won’t be able to have that bond that he had with the apple tree for the last several decades.
A second literacy device used is metaphor, which the author uses several times to add emphasis to the subject. The first example is, “…and watched each branch with a goshawk’s eye…” (line 8). This quote is a metaphor because it explains how he could have watched the tree more closely, comparing his sight to a “goshawk” and having a more keen vision on the tree. It contributes to the poem because it shows the neglect that he put upon the tree, and lets the reader know that the author knows he could have put more time into the tree, and that the death would have not happened.
A second example of a metaphor is found when the author writes, “Smoke is all, … ,/ I’ve been given to remember” (21-22). This is an example of a metaphor because it is comparing the “smoke” to death and how he was too blinded by the other blessings he had received, and now regrets it. It connects with the meaning of the poem because it shows how if something is neglected too much, it will eventually disappear and come back to haunt the neglecter, and the only memories that will be left to remember it by is the “smoke” that it leaves behind.
The third literacy device that was found throughout the poem is connotation, which the author uses frequently in the poem. The first quote is, “Is the scent of apple boughs smoking in the woodstove what I will remember…” (1-4). The word “smoke” in this poem is a connotation because it carries a meaning of sadness and death. In every quote the author has it in it brings a feeling of sadness and how he was too blind to see that death was on the verge for his loved apple tree.
It connects with the poem with its ability to change the mood from what seemed to be the author becoming happier, back to the depressing tone that was throughout the poem. It kept reminding the reader of the fateful death that the tree went through and the author’s sadness. The second connotation is later in the same sentence, “… of the Red Delicious I brought down…” (1-4). The phrase “Red Delicious” is said twice in this poem and is a connotation because it carries a tone of happiness and joy.
The first time it is used, it is used in place of the word tree and it shows the joy that the tree had brought him, before the “smoke” had brought it down. The second time it is used it is used towards the end (23), after all the sorrow that was brought throughout the poem, he uses it one more time to remind the readers of the joy and happiness that resulted from that tree, how he will miss it, and how the “smoke” tore them apart. “Red Delicious” brings out a little happiness in the poem, and brings out a new tone for several seconds while reading it.
R. T Smith wrote the poem “Neglect” portraying metaphor, imagery, and connotation. He used metaphors in the poem to use comparisons on how he could have put more time into his apple tree and not neglected it as much. He uses imagery to connect the reader to the poem and feel what the author is feeling. Lastly, connotation is used in the words “smoke”, and “Red Delicious” to portray sadness and happiness throughout the poem and connect more with the author’s feelings. The “Red Delicious” is gone forever and the only thing left is the sadness of “smoke”.