Authors often use mental images to describe what is happening in the text, such is done in the poem “To Paint a Water Lily” by Ted Hughes. There can be many images brought to mind; images of frogs, lily pads, or even flowers. Hughes speaks of different images, such as the dragonflies hovering and the bottom of the pond. Hughes uses imagery and structural difference to display the observant yet care free attitude of a nature lover. While many people like to go through life and not pay attention to details, they wouldn’t notice the dragonfly “stand[ing] in space to take aim”(7). This shows that the author is paying close attention to detail. So far the poem started out talking about a water lily but has started to shift towards talking about a dragonfly who has caught his eye near the water lily itself. He is then talking about the vibrant colors of the dragonflies while saying “so the eyes praise to see the colours of these flies Rainbow their arcs”(12-13), this piece gives the images of florescent blue dragonflies all around.
Through the mental images gained in the many different ways of describing the dragonflies there is an attitude of a very observant man who can find the fine details in a larger picture. Hughes uses structural differences such as breaks to exemplify his change in thoughts and the continuous observations of the speaker. “Ignorant of age as of hour”(21) Hughes is now focused on the task of painting a water lily. This shows that Hughes is observant and was able to pay attention to detail, but now needs to get back to the task at hand which is painting a water lily. While Hughes was out by the pond getting ready to paint he noticed something; a dragonfly, getting ready to attack its pray. He noticed the battles being taken place under the tree. These were all distractions from his task of painting a water lily but none of these wouldn’t have been noticed unless Hughes hadn’t stopped and observed his surroundings.