by Larry Fyffe
The city-dwelling Romantic Transcendentalist poet in the lines below finds comfort from the memory of a sunlit breeze in the countryside:
When all at once I saw a crowd A host of golden daffodils Beside the lake, beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze (William Wordsworth: I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud)
Not so the Modernist poet quoted beneath; the hustle and bustle of modern city life darkens his vision of the natural world:
The memory throws up high and dry A crowd of twisted things A twisted branch upon the beach Eaten smooth and polished (TS Eliot: Rhapsody On A Windy Night)
There’s a yearning hope for some “gentle” healing power from outside the self, expressed in the following song lyrics:
Treat me kindly dear blue angel Deepest colour of the night Be merciful, be gentle For I have no strength to fight (Dave Cousins: Blue Angel)
Somewhat like the sentiment expressed in the “response” lyrics below, but the strength to fight the “chilly breeze” is to come from within oneself:
I felt the emptiness so wide I don't know what's wrong from right I just know I need the strength to fight Strength to fight the world outside (Bob Dylan: Life Is Hard ~ Dylan/Hunter)
TS Eliot questions the motif of strength coming from within the individual:
Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass (TS Eliot: The Hollow Men)
TS Eliot admires the prose of Henry James, an American who became a British citizen; James is a writer caught on the borderline between the older Hegel-influenced Romantic Transcendentalists and the new Realists.
In the novel ‘Daisy Miller’ by Henry James, the Calvinistic-bent American Mr. Winterbourne, now a class-oriented Victorian moralist living in Switzerland, is confused by the flirty behaviour of newly-arrived younger ‘Daisy’ Miller from America.
The use of correlative symbolism in regards to a person’s name casually picked up in the Robert Frost-influenced song lyrics beneath:
Winterlude, Winterlude, my little daisy Winterlude, by the telephone wire Winterlude, it's making me lazy Come on, sit by the logs in the fire (Bob Dylan: Winterlude)
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