Life without Nature leads to Despair

The poem I chose to interpret is Last of The Flock by Wordsworth and Buttermere Lake, A Shower by Turner. One thing I noticed in the poem was that in the first few stanzas the readers are introduced to the shepherd and how he got his sheep, but in the final stanzas we see how he lost his sheep. And it seemed to be like a cycle because he gained sheep and then lost them. While looking at the painting and the white rainbow, I started to see the Ying-Yang symbol because on the side with the white light everything is light and on the bottom portion it is so much darker. I also chose the image because there is a lonesome man in the lake away from civilization and in the poem it reads, “My pride was tamed, and in our grief
I of the Parish asked relief. ”

I believed it was fitting because the shepherd went to town to ask for help but received none and so the man must feel as if society and the people have abandoned him. The poem also reads “And oft was moved to flee from home,
And hide my head where wild beasts roam.”

I also believe this is fitting because the man is in the lake all alone. It seems that he has no home just like the man from poem and all he has is what he carries in his boat just as the man in the poem only has his dead sheep.

The poem also has the sheep represent nature and as the man loses his sheep he loses his nature in the same sense. This loss causes the shepherd to be driven mad as evident from the lines, “Alas! it was an evil time;
God cursed me in my sore distress;”

The shepherd believed he was being cursed since he was losing his sheep, but when he gained his sheep, the poem was more light. In the beginning of the poem he had gained his sheep, had gotten married, his sheep were flourishing, and he had kids. As soon as he lost his sheep, he lost his livelihood, his house, his love for his children seemed to dwindle. In the painting if you start from the top half its light, it depicts clouds sunlight seems to be coming through, but as you start to move downward the image gets heavier and darker. The clouds become mountains and the colors become darker. I believe that one of the messages of the poem was that with the loss of nature comes despair, and the image goes well with this message because it depicts a man all alone.

-Andres Quezada

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One thought on “Life without Nature leads to Despair

  1. The most original idea in this blog post is “with the loss of nature comes despair”. To improve your blog post I suggest to talk more about your idea of the Ying and Yang in the painting. If you were to connect it to with the loss of nature comes despair line I believe you could come up with some really powerful ideas.

    Extra Credit p.2 6/10

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