Garrett Kaoru Hongo's On The Road To Paradise

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Garrett Kaoru Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawaii on May 30, 1951 as a 4th generation Japanese American. Hongo grew up criticized for his race during his high school years. His father was in the military during World War II before he was born and, later, came back with a love for Renaissance artwork like Rembrandt (1606-1669) as well as other more contemporary European artists during the 40’s and 50’s like Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Hongo has used these painters in some of his previous works like “The Legend” and “On the Road to Paradise” as allusions to their style of painting to further develop the imagery in his poetry. He has been compared to poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) with his descriptive lists and repetitious word order and phrasing. These devices are used to dramatize the poetry as well as build on the ideas conveyed. Hongo is a professor at the University of Oregon and…show more content…
In “The Legend”, Hongo describes a sunset at the beginning of the poem and even includes a reference to the painter Rembrandt by saying “There’s a Rembrandt glow on his face, a triangle of orange in the hollow of his cheek as a last flash of sunset blazes the storefronts and lit windows of the street…”(Hongo, Garrett. Lines 9-12). Hongo uses words such as “blazes” and “flash” to create emphasis on the scene and to keep the image engraved into the reader’s mind. These words use hard consonant sounds to create this emphasis. He also uses the allusion to Rembrandt to create the visual image of the man in the story. This poem refers to this “Rembrant glow” and the “triangle of orange” in reference to Rembrandt and his work. Rembrandt’s paintings of specific people had a lighting technique where under the right eye, there was a triangle of light and shadows around it as well as the main light source hitting the picture head on on one side of the

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