The Legend Poem Analysis

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The Legend was written by a Japanese American poet name Garrett Hongo. Hongo was famous for his use of rich imagery. Most of Hongo’s poems describe the experience of Asian Americans in the society. The Legend is part of Hongo’s famous book, The River of Heaven. The poem was written during a difficult period in Hongo’s life, where he struggled to find his future path. One day, Hongo was watching television in the hotel in Chicago. He saw an Asian man shot and killed in the street. The Asian men triggered Hongo’s deep emotion and actuated him to write this poem. Hongo wrote this poem in the honor of Jay Kashiwamura, the Asian man that inspired and guided him through the one of the tough periods in his life. Hongo’s rich use of imagery and special…show more content…
Hongo uses simple words and large amount of adjectives to create strong imagery of the poem. In addition, Hongo provides a detailed description of the scene in the poem. Hongo points out the specific setting for the incidents in the poem to create realistic scenes. For example, in the first stanza, Hongo creates a clear setting of the poem, which is in a snowy night in Chicago. Hongo’s detailed image of an Asian man doing normal activities on a snowy night in Chicago, adds to the drama. Instead of using normal adjectives, the author chooses to use “Rembrandt” to describe the glow on the Asian man’s face. Rembrandt was an artist who was famous for the dramatic color, light and shadow he used in his painting. By using the “Rembrandt” reference, Hongo adds to the feel that he is painting with words. In the second stanza, Hongo first provided the readers with the description of the character’s poor appearance. Then, Hongo used simple words to describe the scene when the boy shot the Asian man. The imagery created by Hongo allows the readers to experience shock when picturing the suddenness of the death of the Asian
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