Imagery In Theodore Roethke's Root Cellar

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Language and imagery play a vast role in the impression that a poem gives to it’s reader as well as either complementing or reinforcing the poem’s theme. This is showcased very well in Theodore Roethke’s Root Cellar by the use of negative denotations and connotations of the words chosen in the poem. It is further secured by the images drawn by the poet that give off the sense of abandonment and lack of human interference. Through the use of dark imagery and harsh diction the poem Root Cellar enforces it’s theme that nature is able to thrive in places that humanity cannot. For example, the imagery used in Root Cellar portrays a dark inhospitable place where there is little to no human presence. The line “dank as a ditch (Roethke 109)” draws

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