Creative Writing Project

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The Convict 2019

The warm light of the evening hit me from the side of my face;

–On the side of a hill I stood,

Happiness at the moment ever fleeting me while calm left my body

Through the freeness of my body there in the beauty of nature.

“Why must I leave from such safeness and calmness? Why must I seperate?”

My pained spirit spoke,

Agony struck me as I turned in, hope of fixing him fleeting,

The person in which laid in the cell; the convict; the victim

The thick beige walls showed the shadow of the victim

The victims prison being nothing but a dungeon in disguise

At this sight; I stay still

The outcast being failed by a criminal justice system; pity

His hair dark and not cared for; his back hunched,

His exhales turning into deep sighs,

His wallowing in the loss of his hope for the future

The impending doom of his life being over

Pity and sadness at this sight,

The body and mind dejected from care;

He notices me an anchor for a broken system

This hideous image lay in front me.

He withers emotionally, socially, and physically,

For he wishes he can change the past;

For his crime defines him, overwhelms him, he states

His views darken as for socially he is dead

From the group of those sentencing him,

To his dungeon he was lead by an atrocious malignancy,

All those that can soothe his pain not having the resources,

He lay his sorrows in a cold cell

But in his depression, he is consumed, in his mind he is stuck

His conscience his torture for he cannot bring appease to it,

In his agony he cannot reach tranquility,

His imprisonment being his life’s disease.

At night his soul cannot reach rest while these emotions press on his limbs,

The weight of these emotions being unbearable on his body,

For his sleep lacks actual rest with the memories of his crime haunting,

The wretchedness of the implications of his conviction waying on him

His chains being the walls that confine him and dull his future,

Cold-sweats beat on his skin trying to exude his crime

And terror strikes in his heart

He raises his eyes to meet mine; they sink in, deep into my soul,

A tear slides down his face;

Sorrow and silence is the only motions to occur

He proceeds to ask me why I am there

“Poor convict! In all reality, alone you are…

In comparison to you our states being completely different

For I the warden and you the convict; failed by a system

I am your brother and I share your sorrows”

Compassion fills me, but I cannot do anything by the nature of our roles,

My care cannot do anything, but if I were God it would,

If I had the resources to plant your future you would blossom

Review:

William Wordsworth’s “The Convict” is a political statement that tries to bring to light the injustices that come along with the criminal justice system and specifically; with issues regarding imprisonment. In my parody of his work, I attempted to conduct a contemporary approach in which the jailer observing the prisoner is sympathetic towards the prisoners situation due to him knowing that he cannot help the prisoner due to the failure of the structure of the criminal justice system. I wanted to focus on this subject matter due to the fact that back when this was published; this was a very politically controversial subject as it is now. Furthermore, it is one of my favorite poems from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s & William Wordsworth’s, “Lyrical Ballads 1798 and 1800” and its controversial nature I felt allowed me to communicate how a modern prisoner feels and experiences being imprisoned; but, as stated, with a more modern approach. This parody, like it’s mother poem, I wanted to be emotional by focusing on how Romanticism evokes emotion over reason traditionally, partnered with the employment of Romanticism’s concept of “senses over intellect (lecture notes #8).” What can be explained from my parody is that the jailer, like in the original, feels deep empathy for the jailed; but cannot do anything about the prisoners future and current state. All of this ultimately making the jailer feel trapped emotionally along with the prisoner due to him knowing how the system works by him also being a part of it. Wordsworth piece has notably been taking out of certain additions of the “Lyrical Ballads”; and it is one of the strongest pieces in the book. This being one of the biggest reason why I picked it; it’s controversial nature. This form of protest is powerful due to how it evokes loneliness, pain, and sorrow. With my parody I hope to evoke such emotions about the wrongdoings of the criminal justice system through the eyes of a warden and through a prisoner.
-Isabel P

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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

 

 

 

An Imitation of Wordsworth

An imitation of William Wordsworth: “Left upon a seat in a yew-tree, which stands near the Lake of Esthwaite” (from the Lyrical Ballads 1802 Volume One):

Left upon a pine tree in South Sacramento 

 — Nay, Wanderer! Chill. This fresh, wise pine tree stands

amidst a community, amongst all human dwelling;

what if here

no reflecting bodies of water

no lakes and canals to spread green grass or

fresh water to reflect the moonlight each Full Moon

what if here

there was no

sunflowers for the bees to Love

or no bees to inhabit Mother Earth we share;

—-

a child of God

finding paradise on Earth, from nothing and everything

to be nothing and everything

the Light in my mind’s eye,

an awakening to see clearly

to see that Life is the real Dream,

your dreams in the astral realm hold

secrets to your soul’s codes;

Mother Earth is alive, God never died

Spirit alive through the trees, the roses and the Sun too.

Your ancestors pull themselves closer

Through the wind,

A chill down your spine

On the windiest days

Winds of change and winds of warnings.

Warnings of Massive Change.

Enough change to shake up the collective human consciousness,

a burst, propelling Force; moving us Forward —

Spirit in the gravity too.

 

———- Who She was. She

started a fire, and danced with the aging trees

Now Free, to bend arms and hips,

to twist her hair, chant and dance under the moonlight.

She started a fire. I well remember. – She was one who

owned an ancient soul, an uncommon soul.

A beckon of Light that belonged to God; Christ-like; She too

sent to the Darkest places; to heal the lost and the helpless.

 

a young child; trauma tossed and turned; a paranoid, bipolar and psycho

or a perfectly insane genius.

mysterious brown eyes to fill secrets; reflect a dreaming glare

to play the role she signed her Soul to.

Lioness moves forward; Pure in the Heart.

A Blade for a Spirit.

The world is cold,

cycles of greed and violence,

cycles repeated, karmic debt on a loop,

karma dismissed and karma ignored,

Spirit is All Knowing

Mother Earth is Alive.

And the Light was reborn

Through bursts of DNA,

The Light now deadly too.

Spiritual warfare,

we’ve been fighting since the beginning of Time

 

her Soul relearning mindfulness,

through her avatar’s conscious meditation.

In solitude. – Stranger! These gloomy clouds

Hold messages and codes for her; Here she loves to sit,

She has many visitors.

She loves Earth so Earth loves her.

A hummingbird, a black cat, a lizard,

a dog, a horse, a baby scorpion, and a snake –

She has many visitors.

Living an unfruitful life, she made the conscious decision

to start again, so she burned herself, her home and

everything she has ever known.

 

She gave herself back to God,

Her Spirit was reborn to assist the Light.

A near-death experience, a blessing or a fated destiny.

Lifting up her head, she would gaze again

at the fresh, green forest scenery.

To see that Life is the real Dream.

Silence in the trees and in the wind.

A Calmness that brings her back,

to see all that Just Is.

Nature is healing, Nature is Godly.

Admiring Mother Earth and all her features.

Our Creator’s creation, that provides us

with water, fresh air and all the tools to survive on this planet.

 

Healing trauma, rewriting DNA

Restoring imagination to child-like purity.

An Artist like how She used to be –

In God’s kingdom. We are all Artists.

Wordsworth commanding the reader

to understand,

true knowledge leads to love,

true dignity with Her alone,

in the silence of heavy thought,

Can still suspect, and still revere herself,

In Free Spirit, In Pure Full Heart. B.B. 22.

  • Brianna Barajas 

Review: 

In this literary piece, I provide a modern day imitation of William Wordsworth “Left upon a seat in a yew-tree” from the Lyrical Ballads 1802 Volume One. I focus on Wordsworth’s style of writing as a romantic poet who heavily stresses on Nature. This style of writing honors Nature and perceives Nature as a sacred space. In this imitation, I connect nature to ancient indigenous traditions of experiencing God through Nature. I describe spiritual philosophy through imagery and mysticism, as I ponder on the same stillness and silence that Wordsworth finds in Nature through his poetry. While writing this poem, I realized I could not write it indoors. Through this creative writing project, I realized romantic poetry written correctly – must be done outdoors in Nature. Romantic poetry also requires mindfulness and meditation. As a reader and as a writer, there is an urgency of meditation in the mind that requires concentration and focus. The romantic poet teaches us how to familiarize ourselves with the mind element of our overall mind, body and spirit connection. In holistic healing practices, mindfulness is a key quality to recovering from trauma and addictions. And through this experience, I realized the romantic poets were trying to connect the collective human consciousness back to their spirits. Considering all the greed and violence occurring in the world at the time Romantic poetry came to life–  I realize the Romantic Poets were fulfilling their individual Soul purpose. We all have our own soul, and many may wander lost without knowing it. Romantic poetry was so influential and it remains difficult to imitate. I am a poet and a shaman so I was able to mediate and practice mindfulness before and during my writing process. I meditated and fasted to attempt a similar outcome as Wordsworth and many other Romantic Poets as I created this imitation piece.

 

 

 

Derozio’s Literary Instrument

In his poem “The Harp of India”, Henry Louis Vivian Derozio uses the harp as a symbol of India’s lost glory. Derozio grew up in a time when India’s Hindu population faced social turmoil. Since the Hindu society was unable to worship their idols, the backlash that Derozio witnessed motivated him to try and create social change. In the poem, Derozio writes

“Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain?

Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;

Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:”

These verses reflect the depressive effects of India’s social reforms. The “silence” can be interpreted as a reference to the silence of individuality because people were unable to express their beliefs in idolatry. Since Derozio was an advocate for the freedom of expression, his poem sought to reflect the struggles of his country so that his readers could by moved by his words. The poem reminisces on how splendid India’s past once was just like the music belonging to the harp in the poem is no longer “sweet”. The poem then reads,

“Those hands are cold — but if thy notes divine

May be by mortal wakened once again,

Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!”

This part of the poem is a call for social change. The harp has not been played and the hands have lost their warmth from not playing the instrument, but that does not mean that it will never be played again. If the Harp were to be played again, then its music would be revived. This reflects Derozio’s beliefs in social change and the passion to live up to one’s identity. Just because India’s society faced a difficult time period, it does not mean that it can never be restored to its former glory. The significant culture that was once lost in India could be recovered and reborn if it were to be practiced by those who believe in it. Therefore, Derozio’s short poem is a reflection of a time period when India faced many difficulties, but nonetheless had the ability to restore its “Fame”.

-Maria G. Perez

The Absoluteness of Death

In The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich illustrates a decrepit abbey. An abbey is a monastery that resides an independent community. However, despite its deteriorating condition, it is not abandoned as there are silhouettes shouldering a coffin, entering through the arch of the abbey. A cross representing a grave rests outside the abbey. Furthermore, the oakwood’s longevity is symbolic of life. However, in the illustration, the oakwoods are dead. Everything below the abbey’s window is shrouded in darkness. The illustration invokes death through contrasting the absence of light and life in normally life-affirming things – the abbey and the oakwood. The theme of death in Romanticism is regular because it is a subjective experience that every living being encounters. It is an absolute that is more resolute than life.

In We Are Seven, the rhyme scheme is abab, illustrating the simplicity of the “simple child” (1) conversing.

“Seven boys and girls are we;
“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
“Beneath the church-yard tree” (30-32).

We Are Seven demonstrates the theme of death, as the “little Maid’s” sister and brother are dead, and are buried underneath a tree in the church-yard. The absolute of death is unescapable, even in children, and despite the innocence of the “little Maiden” represented through her simplicity, she is aware of the subjective experience of death. Through reading We Are Seven by William Wordsworth, he illustrates the Romantic theme of death through the innocent child in order to demonstrate the absoluteness of death regardless of age, gender, race, class, etc.

Necessary Darkness

I used Joseph William Turner’s work, Buttermere Lake : A Shower, as a lens for William Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven”. The painting is a very dark work with one single streak or center of light, which could be described as a rainbow. There is what seems to be a man on a boat in a vast lake, seeming to go toward the light. The poem tells of an encounter between what I would believe to be an older man and a young cottage girl. The conversation revolves around the number of siblings the girl has. When she divulges two have passed, the man states that there are only five than and she still adamantly states that in total there are seven. The first stanza of the poem begins quite shakily,

A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels it’s life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

In the painting we get a sense of mystery and trepidation of what is to come. Something very similar can be felt while reading the first stanza. The very first line is incomplete, almost like as if the narrator took a breath between stanzas. Was he convincing himself that the small child was not to be feared, that she was the light within the darkness that is death? I believe so, it almost seemed that the child left him in shock. He also described her as rustic and had very fair eyes. Much like the man in the boat, it almost seems that narrator took a moment to embrace the lightness the little maid had within her.
The poem is set in a graveyard, a place that can generally be considered dark and sad. Turner’s painting is quite dark, although not sad, it feels quite serious. The beacon of light, or rainbow is what seems to give the man in the boat a purpose and or hope; and it gives us the viewers a sense of tranquility.

Wordsworth’s poem is dark and serious, the little girl is physically alone, she has lost two of her siblings. Her mother is not present, she even foreshadows a possibility of her brother John having been murdered. Yet, her presence is light and happy, she seemingly embodies the ray of light that is in Turner’s art work. Although she is light, she has required of that darkness to be who she is, that is why she embraces her siblings and refers to them as being present. The light in Buttermere Lake would not be as beautiful or as valued if it was not surrrounded by the darkness in the painting.

Sabrina Vazquez

A Spark of Light in a Sea of Darkness

The painting that I believe best resembles William Wordsworth’s poem, “We Are Seven,” would be Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, “The Monk by the Sea.” The girl in the poem is presented as a very lonely character, but tells the narrator multiple times that “How many? Seven in all,” and repeatedly states that her family consists of seven other people. Despite being separated from her siblings, with two of them dead, two at Conway, and two at sea, she insists that they are all together. I felt that the image of a monk standing by the sea and looking out at it represented the current state of the girl as a very isolated individual looking off towards the horizon and waiting for her family. The dark, cloudy horizon could be seen as representative of the death of her siblings, Jane and John. The mention from the girl that “Their graves are green, they may be seen,” may indicate not just that the graves are new, but that the poem is taking place in spring and given the details of the grass being dry when her sister Jane died and there was snow when her brother died, it can be assumed that they recently in autumn and winter. This detail of seasons could indicate that the girl could be the next in her family to die as the poem does describe her as,

“A simple Child,

That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death?”

suggesting that she is frail or weakened. Perhaps then the small sliver of the sun appearing over the clouds in Friedrich’s painting along with the darker colors fading off away from the shore could be seen as the light of heaven coming to claim her. The painting doesn’t provide a strong sense of sadness to me, but rather provides a sense of anticipation for what could be on the horizon as the storm starts to move away. Though the monk is seen alone on the sandy, rocky shoreline, it isn’t known what is behind him and what that environment looks like, similar to the reader not knowing what the girl’s life is like away from this church other than that she lives with her mother in a small cottage. Though both the girl and the monk have survived recent events in their lives, with seemingly very little left for each of them besides their faith, the question of what happens next remains unknown.

-Ryan Bucher

Self-Loathing Starts with Nature Watching

What is beautiful in wasting away? Though perhaps the title is one constructed to convey more hope than is actually present in the text, Wordsworth’s lyrical ballad, “Lines Left Upon a Seat in a Yew-Tree Which Stands Near the Lake of Esthwaite, On a Desolate Part of the Shore, Yet Commanding a Beautiful Prospect”, is reminiscent of the withering of mankind and potential as a result of pride. This message, in respect towards Caspar David Fredrich’s “The Monk by the Sea”, seems to embody how the act of self-reflection can lead an author to, as Wordsworth writes it, “Revere himself,/ In lowliness of heart” as a result of nature watching (Wordsworth 59-60).

This painting seems to embody a very similar image to that which Wordsworth describes in the first stanza of the ballad, which describes the Yew-Tree as lonely and far from mankind. He writes: “What if these barren boughs the bee not loves;/ Yet, if the wind breath soft, the curling waves,/ That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind” (Wordsworth 4-6). Not only is this description on par with what is depicted in Caspar David Fredrich’s 1809 painting, but it sets a different tone to the painted work. Whereas one could initially perceive the existence of the Monk in the painting as standing in solitude, the idea of him standing in loneliness changes the way in which one would access the work.

The first lesson to be learned from this ballad, though inspired from the seat under a lone Yew-Tree that overlooks a lake’s edge, is that grief is an isolating ordeal. The second lesson is simply: feelings are not food. This journey of self-reflection takes the reader on a journey to understand a student who attempted to sustain himself on pride in response to the rejection of a world he had never before been privy: reality (Wordsworth 47-48). As he withered, so did the world surrounding him, and though these visions of beauty within the natural world can appear appetizing in literature, that is no way to fool the body in deriving nourishment from such foolish ideas.

Perhaps that is why this is a place that is incapable of love from even nature, as it is abandoned by even the natural world (Wordsworth 4). Perhaps that is why in Caspar David Fredrich’s 1809 painting the majority of the piece is consumed by an overcast sky, as the sea and the land are too empty to be worthy of masterful attention. Perhaps the Monk in this work can be understood as Wordsworth understands himself in the natural world; within and without. He is apart of the words he inscribes on paper, and yet he is distant from the message. The paradox is that the sage advice he grants the reader, in conclusion, is a result of an introspective journey that arises as a result of observation.

Pride is likely as fruitless as the landscape of Caspar David Fredrich’s painting, which is likely why such a seen produced so many feelings of self-loathing and regret in the poet’s heart. Self-loathing (apparently) begins in the natural world and demonstrates itself through isolation. This is to say that Caspar David Fredrich’s “The Monk by the Sea” is still beautiful. Certainly, it is, but it is also nostalgic, especially in the lens of hindsight.

-Savie Luce

Lonely

Romanticism relies on the spirituality and mystery that is evoked by nature itself (lecture notes #8). Both the paintings that we are presented with to choose from, and the book Lyrical Ballads 1798 and 1800 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, present Romanticism at its height of introduction and it’s evocation of Romanticisms attributes of culture, nature, emotions, the author’s voice, and various other attributes attributed to Romanticism.

“The Convict” by William Wordsworth portrays these notions employed by romanticism like the mysteriousness of nature and author’s voice. In this case; the painting Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), The Abby in the Oakwood, 1808-1810 demonstrates aspects of romanticism through it’s own imagery and it’s possible relation to the poem. The poem is a poem of a Convicts need, and dream, of redemption that he may not necessarily have in this; their time of anguish. The poem opes with

“–On the slope a mountain I stood,

While the joy that precedes the calm season of rest

Rang loud through the meadow and wood (1-4)”

Interpreting this into the painting the convict being on a mountain, we can see the loudness describes through the poetic piece through the destruction of nature depicted in the painting. This evoking loneliness, mysteriousness, and destruction through the poetic piece and through the painting. The painting is like the poetry, with eery emotions being actively evoked, the imagery provided by both supports this. The painting shows this through the gate being alone, nature seemingly destroyed through the tree, also the lack of grass, and the employment of a broken building. In the poem it can be related to the image, and it evokes these emotions, through these direct stanzas for example:

“The thick-ribbed walls that o’ershadow the gate

Resound; and the dungeons unfold:

I pause; and at length, through the glimmering grate,

The outcast of pity behold (5-8).”

,In relation to the this imagery above by Friedrich, we can relate it to these stanzas due to the fact that we can see the solaceness through the description of the gate, and the wall. This in relation to evoking loneliness through the mysticism of nature through it’s seeming destruction of nature itself through the image. This being evoked through the stanzas by the “grate” due to its evocation of loneliness of the convict who is in awe of their loneliness in the meadows and woods. Their depiction of a dungeon as they relate to being a pitiful outcast can be translates to how the image evokes pity, sadness, and the destruction of nature. This can be further demonstrates by these last stanzas:

“When from the dark synod, or blood-reeking field,

To his chamber the monarchs is led,

All soothers of sense their soft virtue shall yield,

And quietness pillow his head (25-28).”

The field presented through the image can be imagined by the reader of this poem, or interpreter of the piece and image, as a lonesome and a possibly blood ridden field. In relation to these stanzas this image depicts loneliness, in which the convict can relate to, through the dark colors, imagery that is just dead trees, dead nature, and that of a destroyed building which stands a gate. This imagery adding to the sense of lost that the convict feels through their pain through aspects of romanticism that relied both on the mysticism of nature and authors voice. This being obvious in the poem and in the image. Lastly, all of this imagery can serve for the pain that the convict feels in wanting to desperately redeem himself through all of his loneliness and angish due to how sad, and lonely, the imagery is.

— Isabel P

A Stunning Image Brings about a Romantic Feeling

“How rich the wave, in front, imprest, with evening-twilight’s summer hues, while, facing thus the crimson west.” One can already imagine different images with these few lines. In “Lines written near Richmond, upon the Thames, at evening,” we get a decent description of the setting. Somewhere near an ocean, lake, or pond on an early summer morning. The sun is beaming but barely enough to peek through whatever crack or corner it can find. A “crimson west” indicates there is not only colour in the sky but passion as well. What other colour is more passionate than a specific red hue that inclines to purple.

In Théodore Gericault’s “Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct” (1818), we can clearly see an almost miraculous breathtaking image. Different structures built upon mountains and hills near an area of water. It has a balance of lively energetic nature views that contrast with a specific gloomy undertone in certain areas of the painting.  On the left, there are trees with bountiful amounts of leaves and green that are flaunted by the bright exposure of the sunrise while on the bottom right, there is a significantly smaller tree with few branches almost hidden in the murky shadows. This painting helps viewers and readers see the intentions of Romantic poetry such as the one mentioned above.

“Such views the youthful bard allure, but, heedless of the following gloom, he deems their colours shall endure ‘till peace go with him to the tomb.” This alludes to a sight so beautiful and remarkable, how shame it is that some will be distracted by outside forces to take in such a sight. The painting itself is quite stunning, no question about it, but how does it accomplish such triumph? The realistic features in the painting such as trees and hills help viewers comprehend a sight that can be true. The colours and hues are bright and dense which leaves a warm sensation across admirers because of the genuine choice of paint and tint.

Overall, the image is honest and pure. It’s a portrait of a calm area and the artist’s choices of colours and objects to be included in the painting help reveal Romantic themes such as loving nature and having a profound feeling or awareness of life.

-Abe Alvarez

romantic-image-1