Poetry and Nature Essay
Poetry and Nature
Wordsworth is one among the best five poets in English. He wrote many poems and most of them are best known for its treatment of love for nature. “The Daffodils”, “Lines Written in Early Spring”, “To the Cuckoo”, and “My Heart Leaps Up” are very few of his poems in which the role of nature is predominant. By the close reading of the poems it is obvious that he is an ardent lover of nature.
And he has the quality to heal all his deep sufferings by enjoying nature. And he insists his readers that to live in touch with nature and it will cure all their problems. Through his poems he gave such a healing power to nature. In most of his poems he considered nature as a living personality. He is a very sensitive to all changes occurred in nature.
I WANTERED LONELY AS A CLOUD (THE DAFFODILS)
His poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is one of the most celebrated poem. In which the poet describes about a time when he wandered like a cloud through vales and hills. From the first line of this poem it is clear that the poet feels lonely at the time of writing this poem. Finally he saw a group of daffodils which are “fluttering and dancing in the breeze”. This is all about the first stanza of this poem. In its second stanza he started describe about the daffodils.
The flowers seemed never ending so he compares it with shining stars in the Milky Way. He assumes that he might see ten thousand daffodils at a glance. This shows that the flowers are countless or large in number. And they are “tossing their heads and sprightly dance”. Here the poet is depressed internally but he tries to find happiness from his surrounding nature. In third stanza he compares the waves of the lake and daffodils. But he says that daffodils have more “glee” than the “sparking” lake. And he says that a poet can’t do anything but enjoying it.
Even in his loneliness he feels some happiness inside his mind. He says that “in such a jocunt company” a poet can only enjoy it nothing more than that. He starred at the scene for a long time and he couldn’t understand what he gained by gazing at it. Here he says that nature has a power to attract any man’s attention even if the man is in depressed mood. In its last stanza he describes about what he gained from this experience. He says whenever he feels “pensive” or “vacant” this experience fills happiness in the mind of the poet and he started dancing with that flowers.
It shows his change of mood after take a look of those flowers. “They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.” The dancing daffodils have that much influence in the mind of the poet. This experience was capable to heal the inner sufferings of him. From this poem he tries to teach the reader about the importance of man’s connection with nature. Only nature can give utmost pleasure to man than any material possession.
MY HEART LEAPS UP (THE RAINBOW)
This poem is one of Wordsworth’s widely accepted poems. In which he depicts about his excitements when he saw a rainbow in the sky. This poem is well known because of its simplicity in theme and its treatment of nature. Through this poem he reveals to his readers that how childishly he keeps enjoying nature. He used to see rainbow in the sky from his childhood itself. Now he is a grown up man but still he didn’t lose his spirit towards nature. In short his love for nature is consistent. We can understand it by referring many of his poems. This poem is started with the line “My heart leaps up when I behold.
A rainbow in the sky:”
From the first line itself he started describing his cheerful experience when he saw a rainbow in the sky. According to him there is no age bound in enjoying nature. He used here present, past and future tenses only to denote his spirit of enjoying the nature. “So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old,” He says that when he was in his childhood the view of rainbow made the same effect which he feels now, in his manhood. And he wishes to continue like this in his future also. In his mind leading a life without keeping any connection with nature is worse than death.
He says that in his future days if he is not capable to enjoy it then “let me die!”. He can’t think a life without nature because it is everything for him. And through these lines he also shows his consistent love towards nature. His love has same spirit throughout his life. And till his end he wishes to live in nature’s lap. Towards the end of this poem he says that “The child is father of the man;” which gives a paradoxical meaning here. Commonly we know that man is the father of child.
But here he was not talking about its direct meaning. He only means that from the childhood begins manhood. Here the word “father” means one from whom something begins. The main idea of the poem lies in this line, i.e., the present is the outcome of past and like this future will be the outcome of present. And in its concluding lines he shows his deep desire to live in connection with nature by enjoying all its varieties. “And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.”
Through these lines he indirectly talks about his immense desire to go back to his childhood. In that age he was very cheerful. Now in his adulthood, because of the bitter experiences of his life, he wishes to attain his childhood once again and he finds that nature is the best mean to achieve it. The themes of “childhood” and “nature” are best described through this poem. “LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING”:
It is a simple, lyric poem. The poet himself said in this poem that he wrote this when he sat under the shade of a group of trees. He was in a relaxing mood at that time and he sat there for a long time by enjoying the music or the sounds from his surroundings.
Suddenly the music changes to a melancholy note when he started thinking about humanity. “In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind.”
Personally the poet was in a depressed situation at that time. Because of the French Revolution there were problems concerning poverty and society. Moreover he was not take care by his uncle, who was supposed to take care of him since the death of his father, after his graduation. But when he sat under the trees he felt better and slowly it act like a healing balm of his sufferings. But suddenly things have changed. He says that the beautiful sight of nature is a bridge from human soul to god.
According to him natural sights are enough to give a perpetual bliss to his mind. “To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran;” Through these lines the poet tries to spiritualize nature. He knows that spiritual life is happier than material life. Now his tiresome heart is in search for eternal pleasure. Nature is a perfect creation of god so worshipping it will also give bliss. But the thought of humanity again started disturbing him. And he thinks pathetically about the treatment given to a man by his fellow beings. “And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man.”
From these lines he tries to say that all the sufferings of man are only because of the drifting away from nature. According to him nature is the mother of humans. From there only we get complete compensation from all our sufferings. So he indirectly says that men can’t exist without nature. Then he started describing about the flowers in that place. Primrose, periwinkle like flowers are well grown there. After gazing at them he realized that all the flowers are enjoying all their actions even their breathing. From his surroundings he wish acquire some happiness and thus feel an internal bliss.
“The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure: — But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure
Secondly he started looking at the birds around him. They were “hopped” and “played” there. Then he says that he was not able to understand their thoughts but even in their small movements poet could feel “a thrill of pleasure” in them. Poet’s mind is wounded now.
But the pleasant picture of the nature changes his mood and brings happiness slowly. In its fourth stanza he started describing about the trees around him. They were all spreading their leaves to breathe the fresh air. But their also he could see only happiness. He came to a realization that nature itself is blissful. All the creatures which are living in connection with nature are all blessed with peace and happiness.
In the final stanza he concludes the poem with an important question that is “what man has made of man?” He became clear about the fact that drifting away from nature is the cause of all tragedies in human life. This realization ache him very harshly. “Have I not reason to lament What Man has made of Man?” According to him man himself is only responsible for their sufferings.
Throughout the poem the pleasure which he describes is something spiritual or divine and the union of man and nature is also the plan of god. Here it is well expressed the poet’s capacity to spiritualize nature. Thus this poem is all about the relationship between man and nature. “TO THE CUCKOO”:
This poem is one of the best poem in which nature is reflected. Throughout this poem the poet thus the speaker addressing a bird cuckoo. Through this poem the poet welcomes the spring season in the most elegant way. He from his childhood noticed that from the beginning of this season nature seems more beautiful with the “wandering voice” of the bird cuckoo. And in this poem he indirectly depicting about his belief in supernatural elements and he states that this earth is not only for humans but also for animals, birds, supernatural elements like fairies etc.
He starts the poem by calling the bird cuckoo as “a BLITHE New Comer”. He was attracted by its double fold shouting than anything. The bird is not visible to the poet. So in utter confusion he asks the bird that, “shall I call thee bird, / Or but a wandering voice?”
It also shows his interest to see that bird. In its first stanza he talks about his happiness when he hear the voice of the bird. In his second stanza he describes about when he heard the shouting of the bird cuckoo. When he lied on grass he heard the voice passing through “hills to hill” but he couldn’t fix the bird and thus the shouting seems to him as a wandering voice. Even he became in confusion that whether the bird is shouting from far away or nearby place. Thus the twofold sound of that bird made him a wanderer.
Wordsworth is best known as the poet of eyes and ear. In his third stanza he talks about his pleasure and his experiences after seeing that cuckoo.
“Though babbling only to the Vale,
Of Sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.”
The valley which was filled with sunshine and flowers seemed more beautiful with the voice of the bird. It gives a feast to his eyes and ears. So it made him to stay there for a long time. It brings happiness to his mind. So whenever he heard its voice his urge to see that bird increases. And in the next stanza he addresses the bird as “darling of the spring” and he welcomes it to the season.
And he says to the bird that the bird is only an invisible thing to him. So he feels that the voice of that bird is something mysteries. Even an unknown sound from nature has profound influence in poet’s mind. That’s why it easily catches the attention of the poet. In its fifth stanza he describes about his childhood. Even in his childhood he wandered a lot to see this bird. He tried to see the bird by following its voice. “The same whom in my school-boy days I listened to; that Cry Which made me look a thousand ways In bush, and tree, and sky.”
He says that even from his boyhood age he was fully attracted by the catching beauty of nature. In his childhood also he used to listen its music but then also he didn’t get a chance to see that bird. The bird stays by hiding itself and through its sweet sound it makes the nature more alive and thus it tries to increase its overall beauty. In his childhood he often searched it “In bush, tree and sky.” Still he keeps searching it with a hope of success. So these lines also show the theme of hope also. He didn’t tire with his thousands of attempt to see that bird.
All his failures made him to search more and more. So by observing nature he got a hope for his future. He believes that one day he will meet the owner of that wandering mysterious voice. In its next two stanzas he depicts about his theme of hope and childhood. Even in his manhood also he is wandering for that bird. He has a spark of hope by the shouting of that bird. He keeps an ardent love towards the bird even if he didn’t see that bird yet. And he says that when he lied on the grass and hear the voice, it made a nostalgic effect to his mind.
He started thinking about his “golden time”, childhood. From the line, “And listen, till I do beget That golden time again.” It is obvious that his childhood was full of happiness. That is why he referred it with the word “golden time”. The music of cuckoo had made this much influence in the mind of the poet. In its final stanza he gives a supernatural power to that bird. He calls it as “O blessed bird!”. From our childhood itself we heard about the stories of fairies.
Fairies are some supernatural elements which help and give happiness to others. So to him the bird cuckoo also like this. It gives intense pleasure to the mind of the people. With its sweet voice it heals the incurable wounds of the mind. In his last stanzas he indirectly depicts about his believe in supernatural elements like fairy. “O blessed Bird! the earth we pace Again appears to be An unsubstantial, faery place;
That is fit home for Thee!”
Through this line he says that this world is not only for humans but also for animals and other super natural elements. In his eyes the cuckoo bird is a blessed one because it has the power to heal the inner sorrows of men and it fills eternal bliss in to the mind of the humans.