Lines: Written on Nature’s Futile War Against Industrialism

Walking into the jungle of asphalt, faceless towers of steel overshadow the busybodies scurrying beneath them. The pavement is dull, as are the vapid gas-guzzlers that drudgingly drag themselves across it. Some wearisome clerk wipes the sweat from his brow as he hurries to catch a taxi down the street. He scurries past a woman worn with wrinkles and callouses who tightens her head scarf as she waits for the bus to take her to the bakery. Across the street, a man peddles his CDs to passerby’s and men and women say their “no thank you”’s or avoid his gaze altogether. They sidestep his advances, the way one arches their path when they spot vagrant lying against a building, smoke in hand, pleadingly asking for spare change, or the way a young woman moves to the opposite side when she sees a group of sagged-pant men whose eyes are glazed. They keep to themselves, with little regard for others, like ships that keep their distance from each other at sea afraid to bump. But if one moves past the corpses of indifference, the machine hum-drum, what would he come across?

From the rooftops of skyscrapers he can see just beyond the horizon; there, the body of blue comes down to kiss verdant fields. The wind dances through stalks of grass, and caresses the leaves. The flowers blossom and wither, their mortality renewing in a sublime cycle. A starling feeds its fledgling and the insects continue their everlasting symphony in a cacophonous song, rejoicing the new day. Here the Sun reigns with no interference. He casts himself against the sky’s canvas, creating a painting for all to see. He kisses the cheeks of Earth, commending her fair works, and with a timid smile she turns the seasons ‘round like the twirl of a gown. They dance together in a ceaseless waltz, the ephemeral gems of their love passing into the ground and sprouting from the ashes like a phoenix again and again. As the dome of the sky changes, for this season and the next, their love continues. Here where life begins and ends, the eternal lives. One day man’s castles will become dilapidated and crumble, a momentary blip in the books of time. But in its place a new one will rise, emulating the cycle nature first gave to us. With every passing year, Time watches anxiously for who will conquer whom.

And the one that watches from his tower,

Who knows that which lives in that sweet bower;

Surveys the land, for its rivers, trees, and valleys

Then nods with certain pride to his colleagues.

They will build a new cosmopolis out by that grove

By taking their machines to flatten and rove

In their vanity, their pride, and avarice

They ignorantly destroy without hint of malice.

The dance will end—Earth slave to her captors

Humiliated, barren, abused, and raptured.

And who will speak out against this plan,

When man cannot even speak out against man?

 

This creative project is inspired by the Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, as an amalgamation of several poems. The most prevalent poem that served as my inspiration were “Lines: Written in Early Spring”. I chose this poem in particular to serve as the basis for my hypertext because I was interested in the Romanticism of the poem and the lamentation of nature being eclipsed by man and more importantly, by man’s condition. In “Lines: Written in Early Spring”, the speaker of the poem gives a imagery laden account of nature, which I attempted to replicate in the second paragraph of my creative project. I thought an effusive description of nature and the personification of the sun, the earth, and the wind did justice to the poem, as the speaker writes, “To her fair works did Nature link” (line 9). In addition, the tone of the poem signifies a certain awe and reverence towards nature, but these feelings are overshadowed by a great impending doom: the speaker writes, “And much it griev’d my heart to think / What man has made of man” (lines 11-12). These lines served as the inspiration for the first paragraph of my prose in which the condition of man is described as cold, callous, and indifferent. Of course, this harkens back to the themes of Romanticism, as I juxtapose man vs. nature. The final portion of my creative project imitates the poetry structure head on: it analyzes man’s greed and laments the fact that no man can speak for nature, since man can barely speak on behalf of others. In a world where we scarcely care for the wellbeing of others, how can we expect that there be an effort waged for preserving nature? Overall, although I took many artistic liberties, I believe that I sufficiently took the main idea of “Lines: Written in Early Spring”, Romanticism, and depicted it in a refreshing take.

-Sara Nuila-Chae

 

 

 

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