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The Environment and Human Experience as Explored in Three Poems - Book Report/Review Example

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 This report discusses the environment and human experience as explored in three poems. The poets Robinson Jeffers, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Oliver Goldsmith all contribute to the discourse about the destructive and corruptive force that is the human animal.  …
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The Environment and Human Experience as Explored in Three Poems
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Download file to see previous pages The poem “Live from the Lifeless was written by Robinson Jeffers, a poet who was born in 1887 and died in 1962. Jeffers had his first book of poetry published in 1938 although he was primarily neglected by the academic world during his time. His skill in the narrative poem has set him alongside poets such as Frost and E. A. Robinson and as an alternative to the High Modernism that can be seen in Pound, Stevens, and Elliot. Tim Hunt, in his introduction to The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, states that “Jeffers stands as a crucial precursor to contemporary attempts to rethink our practical, ethical, and spiritual obligations to the natural world and the environment” (Robinson and Hunt 1). The poem looks at the nature of life in comparison to that which is not in need of sustainability. The discussion centers on the concept of need and how in the prospect of need, man has become corrupt. He says “Men suffer want and become/Curiously ignoble; as prosperity/Made them curiously vile” (Robinson). Through framing this stanza, the idea behind the poem is revealed, that in the needs that are necessary for life is a corruption. Life is about the need and through those needs is seen the lack of nobility that the aspects of the world that do not have needs to survive display. In reading the poem a distinct contempt for life, not as a suicidal concept, but for the consumption that life needs to survive, can be felt. In reading the poem one can see the rolling of the ocean and the movement of the sky, but in contrast, the word decay emerges as it seems to pollute the ocean, the rock, and the sky. Life is framed for its messy nature, for the needs that must be filled and when they are not, create a wasting. The solitude and stillness of inanimate life is the center of this poem, the cyclical forms of life spinning around this still center which stands noble while all else is subject to the corruption of need. The stanzas of the poem are arranged in three lines, five of them creating the length of the poem. There is a sense of fragmentation as the pictorial nature of the descriptions within the work come in visual symbols of the theme. The poem has a variety of speeds, quickening through a flurry of visuals about the living world, but slowing when it speaks of the inanimate world. The poem uses the rhetoric of visual imagery that is intended to convince the reader of his point of view. The poem creates the sense of his vision, the living world an abomination against the clean, pristine solitude of the inanimate world. In contrast to the comparison that Jeffers makes in his poem between the animate and the inanimate is the poem “The Eighth Duino Elegy” by Rainer Maria Rilke who compares the nature of man against the nature of the rest of the animal world. Rilke was born in 1875 and died in 1926. He wrote in both French and in English, creating his works with heavy use of metaphor and was intent upon “his resolution to accept nothing at face value but to transform whatever he took up” (Durr 2).   ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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