I’d like to take this moment to wish all of those who celebrate Christmas a very merry Christmas. I also hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. Whatever your traditions are, please hold them close. One of my family’s traditions is to open one gift each on Christmas Eve. Another tradition that we enjoy is drinking eggnog while driving through town looking at all the Christmas lights. Even the dogs come along for the ride. This is one tradition that we have not participated in for a few years, however, and I hope to get it started someday again.
Some songs play well with our ears, and some songs wreak havoc with them. Then some songs evoke a magical realm that transports us to the forest of whimsical animals and peaceful creatures. One such song is that of the Whip-poor-will. Its song is like a Continue reading “Can you hear the Whip-poor-will?”
The Glass Music Box
What do people share
when they come together?
Perhaps it’s a glass of decadence
Why do people stare
when they look at each other?
Perhaps it’s their reflection
Gears grinding, windows steaming
as they both climb into
A glass music box.
Thoreau begins his book Cape Cod with the chapter “The Shipwreck” which is based on his own personal experiences, albeit a bit embellished, to make a point about the cycle of life and death. He begins his journey telling us that he doesn’t know much about the ocean when he writes “Wishing to get a better view than I had yet had of the ocean” (Thoreau). By this, we can easily assume that he is entering into unknown territory and we soon see that it is not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.
His description of Cape Cod is compared almost entirely to the human body as if to say that humanity is as much part of the nature of Cape Cod as it is part of humanity. For instance, he writes, “Cape Cod is the bared and bended arm of Massachusetts: the shoulder is at Buzzard’s Bay; the elbow, or crazy-bone, at Cape Mallebarre; the wrist at Truro; and the sandy fist at Provincetown”. Perhaps we are to assume that Thoreau has an understanding of nature’s role in the world and maybe even a partnership with mankind.
However, as Thoreau journeys down the beach, it isn’t long before he reaches the area of a terrible shipwreck. This seems to undermine his sense of security and we see that he actually fears the ocean’s power to rip apart an iron ship. “The largest timbers and iron braces were broken superfluously, and I saw that no material could withstand the power of the waves; that iron must go to pieces in such a case, and an iron vessel would be cracked up like an egg-shell on the rocks” (Thoreau). The death of ships leads to the death of men and Thoreau makes seemingly callous comments about the funerals of men leading us to speculate that death is something that Thoreau likes to distance himself from. He is not at all comfortable with death and blames nature for his discomfort with mortality.
However, he begins to think of life and death as two different shores, almost mirroring each other. One is physical and one is spiritual. “I saw their empty hulks that came to land; but they themselves, meanwhile, were cast upon some shore yet further west, toward which we are all tending, and which we shall reach at last” (Thoreau). A man still physically alive learns to respect the nature that he travels upon, while a man who is only spiritually alive has gained respect from nature and is transported to a peaceful shore. We see that he begins to realize that mortality is a mere perspective of existence. Nature is not the enemy nor the beast, it is the part of us that shows us the way of life and the other spiritual life we associate with death.
In comparison, William Yeats’ “The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water” portrays nature as a reflection of hard lessons. Although, Yeats may also see nature as a mirror image of humanity. Mankind is both magnificent and unpredictable as is nature. As with Thoreau, Yeats gives us a sense of mortality in ourselves and immortality in nature “All that’s beautiful drifts away/Like the waters” (Yeats). When we think of fading beauty and drifting waters, we realize that even though water drifts away there is always more water to fill in but beauty never returns. Yet, there is a sense of oneness and spirituality in both Thoreau’s and Yeats’ view of nature. Both writers show great respect and admiration for nature and seek understanding of it.
Thoreau, Henry D. “The Shipwreck.” Thoreau, Henry D. Cape Cod. New York: The University Press, 1908. Chapter 1. Print.
Yeats, William Butler. “The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water.” 2002. Poetry Archive. Web. 6 August 2016.
This is worth reblogging IMO. Music, poetry and the soul truly sing well together. Reblogged from https://seninatatea.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/beautiful-music/
To live the music
with passion and excellence
Music is the poetry
of soul, a pure emotion.