In Class Essay The authors of the poems I have chosen use nature to express beauty in the world and relate the authors’ feeling of connection to all creatures. The puzzles of meaning the three poems have seem hidden, and then very obvious. These authors use nature as a conduit between their poetry and the reader. The imagery of Hayden Carruth’s poem, Little Citizen, Little Survivor, is of an elderly man who lives in the forest far from civilization, who finds comfort in the creatures around him. The man speaks of the rat and his wife who live in the woodpile at his back door, and the oneness of the rat and his wife’s union.
He is glad to see them as it comforts him that he is not alone. He expresses his sadness in the loss of those who were once close to him then asks and answers his own question, “Where are they now? Everyone knows. Gone. Scattered in this terrible dispersal” (*1) Then he is thankful for the brown rat and his wife for their companionship. Images in the poem, Her First Calf, by Wendell Berry, is that of a cow giving birth to her first calf, but the message is much deeper than that. The poem relates between mankind and nature, and the sameness of the two worlds.
It speaks of the fate of birth that seizes the cow and brings her down, Just as it does with a woman. After the birth, the poem reads, “she moves into what she has become, sure in her fate now as a fish free in the current”(*2a) This passage to me means that after the birth the bat is content with being a mother, motherhood is her calling. In the end the poem states the authors’ feelings of design in nature, as well as mankind, and leaves the reader with his final thoughts, “From the beginnings of the world his arrival and her welcome have been prepared.
They have always known each other”. (*2b) I felt very peaceful inside after reading this poem and thinking about its meaning. It somehow made me feel like everything is right in the world. In “Bats”, by Randall Jarrell, the poems imagery is that of a bat being born, the fragility of the infant, the mother’s protective nature, and how natural their union is. Throughout the poem the similarities between creatures and man are pronounced, yet still hidden in his words. The poem tells of the mother’s nurturing of her newborn, and how naturally it comes t her. The mother eats moths and gnats she catches in full flight; in full flight The mother drinks the water of the pond she skims across. Her baby hangs on tight. Her baby drinks the milk she makes him. In the moonlight or starlight in mid air”(*3) At the end of the day the mother rests and even in sleep she is protective as she envelops the her child in her wings. Similarities these authors have, using nature to communicate with the reader, is outstanding. I found the poems to be very touching and they challenged me to find their meaning.
Obviously, the meaning of the writings would be different to others, but I found a great appreciation in my understanding of them, as I interoperated them. This essay was an enjoyed experience. (*1 Good Poems, Garrison Keillor 2002) page 235/ Little Citizen, Little Survivor, by Hayden Carruth (*2a Good Poems, Garrison Keillor 2002) page 236/ Her First Calf, by Wendell Berry (*2b Good Poems, Garrison Keillor 2002) page 236/ Her First Calf, by Wendell Berry * (3 Good Poems, Garrison Keillor 2002) pg. 237/ Bats, by Randall Jarrell