Harry Martinson’s Views from a Tuft of Grass is one literary piece that deals with nature- its innate beauty and the special bond humans have with nature. The book contains several essays and a poem, and all of these explore the subject of the natural world around us admirably well. Through his vivid imagery and skillful use of words, Martinson takes the reader into his colorful and inviting world. Undoubtedly, valuing nature is one of the book’s major themes.
Martinson makes his readers aware of the significance of nature to a person’s life.
In one essay entitled Summer Reflections, he tells of his own longing for the summer season as opposed to that of a person coming from the tropics. He says that people who come from arctic or semi-artic places are more aware of the summer and that the word “summer” holds more meaning to them than for those who come from the opposite part of the earth.
He tells this with such clarity and directness that one cannot help but feel the same longing for the heat and colors brought about by the summer.
He makes us understand nature more by taking us to a beautiful world that sadly, often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Through his illustrative essays we are implored to be more appreciative and aware of the natural wonders we have. Another literary theme that is implied in this book is the significant place folktales hold in shaping an author’s writing style. Martinson gives importance to these childhood stories. A spellbinding storyteller himself, he mentions folktales that he, as a Swedish child, believed in.
He said that folktales invariably decide what kind of a storyteller an author would be. And through this, we would know what the author’s sense of personal aesthetic is. “MAJOR THEMES OF VIEWS FROM A TUFT OF GRASS” PAGE # 2 In his essay On Nature Writing, the importance of science is the major theme explored. The author implied that reality and imagination must be entwined before we can accurately paint nature’s innate beauty though words. Science, poetry and nature should be woven together so as to achieve perfection in writing.
He said that we should combine scientific knowledge with artistry in order to capture the true mysteries as well as the aesthetic value of nature. One cannot go without the other- both are equally essential tools in nature writing. He gives advice to writers to be more sensitive and to challenge the power of words usually used to describe nature. He insists that writers should be more insightful so as to paint a clearer and more beautiful depiction of nature.
In another essay, Martinson believes that the map is a significant piece of nature scientifically drawn into a piece of paper. He asserts that the map is a work of art and must be given importance too. Definitely, Martinson wants to give importance to science with respect to nature as explored in his essays. Truly, Martinson’s Views from a Tuft of Grass is an adorable work of art. It uses a very different approach to nature writing. It explores the subtle territories between nature and the factors that affect a writer’s depiction of it.
Very few writers can achieve what Martinson has achieved: he has not only succeeded in beautifully illustrating nature through words, creating wonderful prose, but he has also succeeded in provoking significant, if not stirring, thoughts and memories in his readers. He makes his readers realize that we, as humans, are but a dot in the vast and varied environment around us. Humbling and even belittling, but very thought provoking.
Martinson, Harry, Anderson, Erland, and Lars Nordstrom. Views from a Tuft of Grass. Los Angeles, California: Green Integer Books, 2005.
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Harry Martinson’s Views from a Tuft of Grass. (2017, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/re-harry-martinsons-views-from-a-tuft-of-grass-essay