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Imagery and Tone: All But Blind by Walter de la Mare

February 17, 2011

In this assignment, we were tasked to describe the type of imagery and tone present in the poems assigned. There were 4 poems assigned:

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
All But Blind by Walter de la Mare
Poet to Come by Walt Whitman
Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred Lord Tennyson

I’ll be submitting them in four different posts to make it easier to read.

Here is the text:

All But Blind

by Walter de la Mare

All but blind
In his cambered hole
Gropes for worms
The four-clawed Mole.

All but blind
In the evening sky
The hooded Bat
Twirls softly by.

All but blind
In the burning day
The Barn-Owl blunders
On her way.

And blind as are
These three to me,
So blind to someone
I must be.

(Source: Bird-X. "humane-pest-control." Photo. Retrieved on 2/18/2011.

IMAGERY: Because of the words that appealed to my sense of sight, I was able to imagine the three animals, the mole, the bat and the Barn-owl, doing their own ‘thing’: the mole tapping the ground in search for the worm, the bat gliding gracefully, twirling a bit (maybe while trying to catch a flying insect), and the Barn-owl stumbling in flight because of the daylight. All of them are perceived by humans to be ‘blind’ (and/or nocturnal).

TONE: I think the tone is ‘humble’, which can be seen in the (mostly simple) word choice of the poem. The author didn’t use complex words, though he was still able to deliver his message: that sometimes, we’re perceived as ‘blind.’

De la Mare, Walter, All but Blind (, Retrieved 16, February 2011 from:

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