Select the one modernist poem or text that you found spoke to you most directly. Quote the text and tell us how the text moved you.
Section V of T.S Elliot’s “Burnt Norton” is the closing of a truly miraculous perspective of the way human beings are able to create words to allow us to see things that we’re constantly trying to comprehend. The power of the word choice seizes to amaze me “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.”. When we are placed in a situation, such as arguments, we tend to retaliate in the heat of the moment. In this pice words play a part in the cause and effect of any circumstance, this is the nature of language in human experience. Words are trying to carry some meaning for us, they help us understand.
These words are the powerful concepts that we as human beings create ourselves, “words move, music moves.” resulting in the ideas on paper being one thing but in life, it is a powerful experience. However the idea of love, “love is itself unmoving, only the cause of the end of movement” can be seen as a strong element in the development of our words. Religious ideologies are placed in this text as a representation of love, insisting that before time there was love and now the being at the places where we are is the implications of love and it works and flows in a creative way. Words also reach into our core and as such an internal silence, this can be seen as atmospherical silences and this compliments the mood that T.S Elliot is surrounded with.
After reading this piece more than once it has become more aware to me that is surrounding mainly by the theme of time. It’s as if people are stuck in the past and are unable to see the beauty of the present. “Quick, now, here, always– Ridiculous the waste sad time Stretching before and after.”, the finishing words of the text truly spoke to be as it was alluded to be a call to anybody reading this to give a childlike perspective of life to live in the moment without getting caught up in the rush of life and to see the world for what it really is.
“Burnt Norton” Part V
Norton Anthology D – Page 398-399
If possible try to explain in your own words what you understand by this statement. Can you give an example of poem you have read that does just this?
A tradition and experimentalist poet such as Robert Frost clarifies the affect poems have on individual’s thoughts and feelings. “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom..” (Frost) hones in on the opportunity displayed in the word choice, structure, rhyme scheme and comparatively the newfound knowledge an individual can acquire which may, in turn, change their opinion completely or add to the beliefs they already possess.
A poem, which expresses the idea of delight into wisdom, is ‘Neither Out Far Nor In Deep’. Frost eludes to in the first stanza an image of society turning their back on the land and is fixated on the see, “All turn and look one way”. The third stanza suggests that they aren’t turning their backs on the land but instead are searching for the truth, which they believe to find in the unchanging ocean. “The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be- the water come ashore, And the people look at the sea.” The motif of the ocean portrays the repetition in its movement and as a result, is more subject to change. The people on the beach are representatives of individuals who can’t help searching for answers that are hard to attain, however, they choose an unlikely source such as the mysterious ocean. What I personally get out of this poem is that we understand that of the human experience, literature changes the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves especially with the help of the unbiased ocean.
“Robert Frost.” 2017, http://williambertrand.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/RobertFrost.jpg.
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep – Robert Frost
Norton Anthology Volume D (Page 247)
The opening passage from chapter 8 of Huckleberry Finn defines nature with such vividness and imminence:
“The sun was up so high when I waked, that I judged it was after eight o’clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade, thinking about things and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on limb and jabbered at me very friendly.”
Within this snip-it Mark Twain expresses through specifically chosen words which allow for momentous however simplistic elements to arise. The use of the personal pronoun “I” conveys his familiarities and his feelings in that exact moment. This can also be seen at the end of the second line through the words “comfortable and satisfied.”, illustrating his content feelings with what he mentions. Certain word choices can be understood as Huck’s recipe of his environment, “freckled, sifted, satisfied, rested”, each of these is items of the methods which make his beautiful setting.
The picture that Twain paints is through each idea the protagonist observes which the author has envisioned. Each line moves as if it were vectors, from the sun which explains the time element, then seeing the shade from the trees which made him feel comfortable, the leaves on the trees and the “freckled place” sun spot which shone through onto his face. This by far is an instance of clarity and highlights the beauty of the surroundings he is bounded by. The ways sentences are structured confirm the tone of the novel. In this specific paragraph, the sentences are short and sharp but meaningful. Most sentences contain two clauses connected by a comma, Twain uses this to not make his descriptions short and boring instead making them meaningful to the protagonist and the reader. Combined these features all form a depiction of what an amazing life which was around for Huck at the time.
Mark Twain and Peter Coveney. Huckleberry Finn, Level 3. London, Penguin Classics [Imprint], 2003
How has Emerson’s ‘Nature’ given you a clearer sense of what it is you are looking for in your own life?
The idea Transcendentalism came as a shock to me. Not physically but mentally. For years I understood that something of this nature existed but I never had the knowledge the term, which it was related to. Transcendentalism as being repeatedly aware of is a title, which is hard to define and decipher, however, it can be illustrated as a philosophical movement in American Literature. The two main figureheads in literature of this movement are known to be Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau but I would just like to hone lightly on Emerson’s essay “Nature”.
Emerson’s essay “Nature” is mainly about how nature is a way of understanding who we are and being reminded not to let the noise surrounding our lives cloud our judgment on our own thoughts and truths. He does this through the quote “I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a particle of God.” (Chapter 1). It is a way that Emerson can express that what we see is a remarkable part of our being; it is the part that is original and warranted.
Each chapter following has been given separate key messages or ‘sub- messages’ which is portrayed to the reader as each one is interconnected to the main idea of understanding ourselves and to listen to our own opinions. Chapters 2,3 and 4 represent the value of nature through its commodity, beauty, and language. Through these chapters, they create a sense of awakening in my own life especially as these three themes are current issues in today’s day and age that is something that strikes a chord with me personally. Hearing about the longing for a physical possession or society’s value of an image and the way we express ourselves through our language.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay ‘Nature’
Penguin Books ‘Nature’ Cover
Can we apply the Native American sense of the importance of nature to make our own lives more whole and meaningful?
In certain ways, the Native American way of living would be foreign to implement in the time of the 21st century as surrounding factors such as our society is an ever-changing place filled with technological disruptions, increasing numbers of polluting vehicles and most importantly the ignorance people in relation to the beauty of nature. Adherents of the sacred bond of nature can be portrayed through the relationship of the Native American Indians and the natural world.
A Native American writer, Oren Lyons encompasses this through his essay, “Our Mother Earth” in the book I become part of it.
According to Lyons, they have proved time and time again that they share a ‘great connection’ with the land. His continuous repetition of the word “great” revives to foresee this unmeasurable understanding of the intensity that a connection between the Native American Indians and the environment share. Furthermore, when one looks at it, they could assume it is inextricable. However, this impossible separation is something the Europeans have fought towards for centuries on end. Though that doesn’t stop the Native American Indians as Lyons states, “We are like a conscience. We are small, but we are not a minority.” As well, Native Americans reveal that nature provides purpose through their sense of who they are; the growth of their identity makes this connection so much more personal and introspective “And among us there are even people with other gifts- a gift of art, or a gift of speech, or a gift of a smile that can make everyone laugh. Whatever it is, each of us was born with a mission.” as it is the development of who they are.
To have a whole and meaningful life is to be complete and to have a purpose and honestly, I believe by through the words and actions the Native American Indians take to profess their adoration towards nature can be sanctified in a material world. By not only acknowledging to appreciating what we have been blessed with but recognising the importance of the natural world as it is the beginning of the life we have all started for ourselves.
For more insight into Oren Lyons thoughts, it would be best to check out his youtube video “We are part of the Earth.” using this link
Dooling, D. M, and Paul Jordan-Smith. I BECOME PART OF IT ; Our Mother Earth. 1st ed., New York, Harperscollinspaperback, 2002,.
Sacred Land Film Project. “Oren Lyons “We Are Part Of The Earth”.” 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSwmqZ272As.