The Pictorial Rhetoric of Poetry and Its Symbolic Token

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2016


The Pictorial Rhetoric of Poetry and Its Symbolic Token



Zhao Xianzhang


The imagery of poetry is the imitation and reproduction of poetry, and can also be named the pictorial rhetoric of poetry. From its various pictorial patterns, one can know that this alternative figure of speech is mainly represented as the filling of blank of poetic language and the embodiment of poetic imagery. Hence, the poetry created by the text is directly unfolded in images and thus becomes “clear at one sight.” On the other hand, what the imagery of poetry unfolds is merely “kernel of a poem” rather than the total poetry, therefore its imitation is only a kind of “exemplification” rather than the complete reproduction of poetry. So, the imagery of poetry is just like a decorative screen standing within profound semanteme, obscuring the world behind images while making the kernel of a poem unfolded. That is the duplicity of imagery of poetry and its symbolic token: The dual combination of “unfolding” and “obscuring” builds up its Gestalt characteristics, orderly rhythms, and mutual supplementation games driving linguistic and pictorial symbols, with the looming of poetry in imagery as visual enticement.