Literary Devices in The Garden
Personification: The personification of the rose in this poem is important because it gives the rose agency and power. Roses are often portrayed as delicate but the rose in this poem is shown to be strong and resilient.
Extended Metaphor: When reading this poem through a feminist lens, the personified rose acts an extended metaphor for strength in spite of oppression and adversity as it pertains to women and minority groups. The rose being able to grow despite an inhospitable host, shows that in spite of constant oppressive forces, women and minority groups are able to grow and prosper in their societies.
Literary Devices Examples in The Garden:
"scrape..." See in text (The Garden)
The verb “to scrape”—or to remove the outer layer of, scratch, or pull some hard or sharp implement across a surface of—suggests a type of violence. The speaker is imagining being able to remove the color from this rose by force, as if the color could pour out of the rose like dye. This both emphasizes the flower’s vibrant color and once again introduces a surreal element into the poem.
"cut in rock..." See in text (The Garden)
The phrase “cut in rock” refers to the rose and means that the rose has grown through the rock over time. To “cut” suggests that the rose has agency or power. This image of something delicate like a rose “cutting” through something sturdy like a rock challenges the natural order and the reader’s expectations. These images contribute to a surreal feeling within the poem that one cannot trust or take for granted what they are looking at.