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Understanding Poetry Solitude How still it is here in the woods. The trees Stand...
Topic: Henry David Thoreau
How still it is here in the woods. The trees
Stand motionless, as if they did not dare
To stir, lest it should break the spell. The air
Hangs quiet as spaces in a marble frieze.
Even this little brook, that runs at ease
Whispering and gurgling in its knotted bed,
Seems but to deepen, with its curling thread
Of sound, the shadowy sun-pierced silences.
Sometimes a hawk screams or a woodpecker
Startles the stillness from its fixed mood
With his loud careless tap. Sometimes I hear
The dreamy white-throat from some far-off tree
Pipe slowly on the listening solitude,
His five pure notes succeeding pensively.
What is the author's feelings about the topic of the poem? I barely understand this poem at all.
Thank you in advance
2 Answers | add yours
High School Teacher
The poem posted, "Solitude", is a work written by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was a Transcendentalist. Transcendentalists were artists (included authors, poets, painters, etc.) who wished to part with culture and society's doctrines based upon their dislike of empirical ideologies.
Instead, the Transcendentalists focused upon the individual. They believed that honest reality came for the understanding of one's own spirituality. Given the overlap with the Romantic movement, nature was very important to the Transcendentalists.
Therefore, based upon the thoughts and ideologies of the Transcendentalists, the poem "Solitude" shows Thoreau's grounding in nature and finding one's self through one's own appreciation for nature.
Thoreau enjoyed being alone. The poem helps one to understand why. In nature, he is able to concentrate on the elements and himself alone. He, according to a personal interpretation, finds strength and power in the solitude that nature provides him. While not truly alone, nature is all around, he can listen to the things which allow him to look with all of his senses.
Posted by literaturenerd on September 22, 2011 at 4:08 AM (Answer #1)
The author is describing the sounds and feelings he gets as he is alone in a scene of nature, and he paints a picture using sounds, and this is called synesthesia (mixture of senses). The author is obviously relaxed, engulfing in everything his ears can handle, and analyzing all that is around him, aside from himself.
Posted by paralysedforce on September 21, 2011 at 2:14 PM (Answer #2)
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