Vachel Lindsay

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Discuss how "The Flower-Fed Buffaloes" by Vachel Lindsay and "Report to Wordsworth" by Boey Kim Cheng deal with the destruction of nature.

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Vachel Lindsay's "The Flower-Fed Buffaloes" speaks of the destruction of nature by comparing "days of long ago" to contemporary days where now "locomotives" and the lost and gone "prarie flowers lie low," or have ceased to be. He further says the prairie's "perfumed grass" has been "swept away" by the cultivated farmland fields of wheat that is planted, grown and carried away at harvest by "wheels and wheels and wheels" that "spin by." He ends this poem by saying the buffalo themselves "gore no more [and] bellow no more," for they, along with the Blackfeet and Pawnee Indian tribes of the prairie are now "lying low," side by side with the prairie flowers.

Boey Kim Cheng's "Report to Wordsworth," which begins with a summons to Wordsworth ("You should be here ..."), speaks of the destruction of nature by enumerating things by which nature "has been laid waste": "smog," "waste we dump," "insatiate man." Cheng lists the effects upon nature of these waste layers, using mighty and original--and seemingly contradictory--imagery to show the destruction: e.g., "flowers are mute," Neptune is "helpless as beached as a whale," "Nature's mighty heart is ... still." Cheng ends this sonnet by describing the "wound" in the sky and God's labors to "utter his last cry," thus equating God with nature and reflecting Romantic era sensibilities about the preeminence of nature.

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