Themes and Meanings (Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition)
Many Kinsella poems are conceived as either quests or ordeals, debating either how best to proceed or how best to abide by the present’s intransigent grip. Part of the exemplary character of “A Country Walk” is that it mediates between those two polar options. The walk functions as a release and as an intensification; as an enactment of witness and of rejection; as a depiction of ruin, despoliation, and unfulfillment; and as an impetus to poetry. The apparent entailment of negative and positive, which is evidently thought to be as inevitable as the placing of one “slow footfall” after another, allows the poem to reach a nadir, “the valley floor,” perhaps, and an apex, “the green and golden light” of Venus, an inspirational star by which to steer.
Despite the sense of resolution, however, which the close of “A Country Walk” suggests, the poem’s main burden is premised on a notion of the incompleteness of each of the worlds it surveys. The idea of resolution is conveyed in the closing line, where, by the simple means of quotation marks, poetry is resorted to as an option owing something in permanence and beauty to the evening star. Yet what that line—presented as though it might be the opening line of another poem—speaks of is flux and turbulence. It is not difficult to imagine that the material of this poem will also find a focus in “an omphalos of scraps,” particularly when that phrase comes from a poetic treatment (a...
(The entire section is 343 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of A Country Walk Themes. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!