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Poetry To Express Images From The Natural World

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    In the day to day life there will always be a beginning an and an end. It may be the end of a precious young girls’ innocence or the overly predicted end of the world. Nature is an everyday detail that people infrequently take time to appreciate and sometimes take it for granted; it’s what makes the world beautiful. Gerard Manley Hopkins and Robert Frost used poetry to express images from the natural world. In “Spring and Fall”, Hopkins revers to a little girl, Margaret, who lives in a state of peace with nature allowing her to relate to her heavenly “Goldengrove” with the same sympathy she has for human beings or for “the things of man.” While in “Fire and Ice”, Frost bring a distinction between two things that will destroy the world. ADD HERE We typically associate ‘spring’ with new life, hope, and love. So why has Hopkins used it in a poem about coming to terms with your own mortality and death.

    He states, “Margaret, are you grieving/Over Goldengrove unleaving?”, showing the falling of the leaves in the forest of Goldengrove seems to represent the fading of human life. Margaret, as a little kid, is able to ‘grieve’ for the trees themselves, but there’s something more to it she’s becoming conscious of human mortality. Hopkins uses the spring season because Margaret is in the ‘spring’ of her life and only being a ‘young child’ she’s already starting to realize that she will eventually grow old and die. The word ‘Spring,’ then, makes sense, but why choose the word ‘Fall’? The poem takes place in the fall, when the trees are losing their leaves, not during the spring. The speaker says, “Ah, as the heart grows older/It will come to such sights colder (Lines 5-6)”, sounding almost wistful when he sighs and says, ‘Ah’ about Margaret growing less sensitive to the sad things in nature. The falling leaves, concentrated round her ankles, place the speaker in mind of the approaching winter the ‘death’ of the trees and then give an excellent jumping off purpose for considering the ultimate decline that each one lives should endure. So, the poem is about the contrast, between youth and age, innocence and knowledge, spring and fall.

    In the poem, just like Hopkins work uses imagery of nature to develop his theories, Frost’s, “Fire and Ice” compares two elements of nature fire and ice to develop his own. In the first two lines “Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice” the poem he presents the option to end of the world by fire or ice. He then talks about fire in the next two lines and compares fire to desire “From what I’ve tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favor fire”. The comparison states that Frost sees desire as something that takes over and brings devastation. He would agree that fire, or desire, will end the world due to his personal experience tasting desire. Desire is a probable end to the world, as many destructive acts that humans commit is due to their desire to obtain something they don’t own, such as land, resources, or even people.

    The speaker seems to have “tasted desire” at some point in his life, and is aware of the seductive ways of this veiling emotion. True desire steams, like a gas, and soon covers every inch of ones being until that person will do all in their power to obtain what it is, they wish for so badly. Desire clouds the mind, and those who desire something so fiercely become blind to the means they use to ascertain it, no matter how drastic. In the next stanza Frost then compares ice to hate. This comparison relates to the reader a view of hate as something that causes people to be unyielding, lifeless and cold. Ice also has the tendency to take in things and cause them to crack and break. He provides the reader with a clear connection between hatred and ice, saying that he is familiar enough with hate, or ice, to know that it could end the world as easily as desire, or fire.

    The speaker tells us that ice can provide great “destruction,” thus saying that hatred is a volatile and volcanic emotion that could possibly be the ruin of us. Hate is an emotion beyond the regular human beings’ spectrum of feelings. True hate is an evil thing, and takes years to master and temper correctly, it must fester over time and becomes deadly in doing so. This thick, tangible feeling is strong, fueled by passion, and one’s hatred of another could very easily end the world. The final line of the poem asserts that these two vicious forces are evenly great. Desire and hatred are duel emotions of terror, and are both deadly in their own rights. While fire or desire consumes and destroys quickly, leaving ashes. Ice or hatred, destroys much slower. It causes objects to become so lifeless that they crack from the pressure created. Frost imagines that the end of the world could be caused by people becoming too strict, lifeless, and set in their way of life and beliefs that the world breaks apart into pieces.

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