The poem “At Evening” on page 133 of the text version of Lyrical Ballads is a poem easily compared to the image titled Buttermere Lake.
The creator of the painting, Joseph Mallord William Turner, creates an image that evokes so much curiosity. When compared to the poem previously mentioned one can find several connections between the two.
At one point in the poem the author writes:
“And see how dark the backward stream!
A little moment past, so smiling!”
Which is a line clearly reflected in the image created by Turner as we witness what looks like a couple rowing their boat on a river away from the darkness and toward a large ray of light. The painting also includes a very clear division between the darkness and the light just like the poem. The poem relies heavily on positivity in the face of uncertainty, or darkness, and the painting does the same. The couple rowing on Buttermere lake is an illustration of the couple written about on Lake Thames. The topic of death is introduced in the poem adding an extra layer of darkness and uncertainty but in the end the author basically asks for the present moment to never end which is what I imagine the painting to be a moment of clarity – a moment one wishes could last forever.
- Maricruz Rivas