To the Daisy and The Stolen Boat – Book Report/Review Example
The paper "To the Daisy and The Stolen Boat" is a great example of a literature book review.
This paper brings up two poems written by the famous nature poet, William Wordsworth – ‘To the Daisy’ and ‘The Stolen Boat’. In the first poem, the poet begins by praising the flower ‘daisy’. This flower is often used by different poets to signify death or rather, to soften the harshness of death. In the eight versed, 48 line poem, the poet begins with lovely similes meant for the flower. On the other hand ‘the Stolen Boat’ is a poem which does not concentrate on any particular object but rather on the ‘Being’ that dwells within Nature. This creates fear in the mind of the poet.
The poet finds a lot of reflections within the dainty white flower. He calls it a ‘homely face’ and ‘unassuming’ in nature (Palgrave, 332). He feels that the daisy with its pure beauty does not contain pretence. The daisy reflects a lot of grace which love has showered on it. The poet seems to spend long hours looking constantly at the daisy and ponders about some ‘fond names’ (Palgrave, 332) for the flower. He calls it a shy nun, ‘sprightly maiden, of Love's court’ and ‘A queen in the crown of rubies drest’ (Palgrave, 332). Suddenly the mood switches to that of fear where the very form of the flower, which appeared pretty to him before, now seemed to be fearsome. He compares the white flower with the yellow centre to the one-eyed Cyclops. He finds in the flower, an attempt to defy the norms or the normal ways of the society. The imagination of the poet takes him so far as to imagine the flower as a symbol of rebellion, but again the shape vanishes suddenly from his mind. All he finds there is the ‘silver shield with boss of gold’. He describes that the golden mass over at the centre of the dainty petals seems to cover up the entire flower. When the poet moves back to gaze at it the flower seems to be a white star. It might be less glittering that the other flowers which are perhaps brighter, but it is ‘self-poised in the air’ (Palgrave, 332). Peace rests within the flower itself such that she may never return to her home. The flower is timid, imparting this character within the poet too. By using the word ‘meek’, Wordsworth hints at the modesty of human nature which he has been able to develop with the help of the flower. He calls it a ‘sweet flower’ (Palgrave, 332). He feels that it practically breathed with him, sharing the same space of sun and air. Thus we find that the poet uses mood swings and similes to describe the flower. There are two contradictory elements within the same object of nature. He experiences peace and fright with very brief periods of transitions.
While the poet goes out to experience nature, he, in turn, derives inspiration, insight, education and delight from her. It is a bi-directional process during which the mind of the poet matures. The poet assigns the role of transformation from adolescence to maturity to nature and cites circumstances to show the impact on his young mind. ‘The Stolen Boat’ is one such creation where the poet talks about himself as a young boy who steals a boat in the night. The scary cliff looms dark and large before him. This reminds the poet of his act of stealth and guilt. This is a single verse, 44-line poem. The following lines reveal his state of mind affected deeply by nature:
“Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
By day, and were a trouble to my dreams”
(Wordsworth and Morley, 274)
The poet dexterously uses oxymoron like ‘troubled pleasure’ in order to signify the guilt caused by the act of stealth. The conscience of the poet is active form the very beginning of the poem and is stirred further by objects around him. The echoing sounds from the mountain seemed to send notes of warning to the poet who has already performed the stealth. To the poet rowing, the boat was a lovely experience and he took pride in his skill. However, as he moved towards the mountain, the form became larger and scared him gradually. This was especially due to his already realized guilt in the subconscious state of mind. The trembling of his hand reflects his inner fear. He began to row back towards the willow tree beneath which the boat previously stood. However, the impact of this experience lay on the mind of the poet for many days thereafter. The pain and fear have made the poet realize his guilt and thus helped him learn a lesson.
Unfathomable perception and inexplicable sense of fear troubled the innocent mind of the young boy. The situation conveyed in the Stolen Boat may be described as, “a disquietude, an intimation of uncanny threat….projections of guilt, evoke the horror of death… retain a psychological ambivalence and mystery” (Ulmer, 53) The otherwise harmless objects of nature surrounding him remind him of his act of stealth. Even the simple objects seem to gain a different shape and the poet acknowledges nature to be the cause of this transformation. The little adventure of the poet turned out to be an important lesson which would help him mature in the years to come. Nature has directed him to his thoughts and aroused his conscience. William Wordsworth has played a great role in romanticizing the poetry. He has set some ideas which have imparted a romantic lens to his critics while viewing his works.
While comparing the two poems, we may find that both have imparted some lessons to the poet. Nature is a living being in the opinion of Wordsworth who practically lives and thinks with the help of the feelings generated by the elements of nature. While in the first poem the poet concentrates specifically on the flower itself, ‘The Stolen Boat’ is a part of the Prelude to his Autobiography. According to Miles, Wordsworth’s main concern lays around mystical experience, which may take three major forms – a union between nature and an individual; the union between two people and; the union of the human soul with God, referring to religious mysticism (Miles, 14). The rhyming pattern of the two poems also differs. The poem ‘To the Daisy’ follows a pattern of AAABCCCB. On the other hand, The Stolen Boat is in the form of a prose. However, in both the cases, the poet reveals his wildest imaginations and draws out life from the otherwise natural objects. Most importantly, both the poems reveal that nature adds educational value to the life of the poet and helps him grow in terms of virtues. When we think of Wordsworth as a nature poet, we may find that nature did not have any chalked out limited meanings to the Romantics. Nature poetry was itself projected as a work of art built out of divine imagination, which is presented in the form of symbolic language. Nature has been assigned a wide range of roles in his poetry. Nature is often taken as a source of an image, refuge from the surrounding artificial world and language as well as a healer. Similar to Romantic painting the romantic poet focuses on the sensuality hidden in nature. We also come to know about the simplicity of the poet who was sensitive to the stimuli around him and responded well to every object of nature. He ventured out to explore nature in her very simple form from and he imparted a grave character to its impact.