In the poem "To a Skylark" what elements bring out special qualities of the song?Shelley uses various images to make us hear the song of the skylark.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The entire poem is packed with unique descriptions of the skylark's song.  I've listed some images that help us to hear the birds song.

"Profuse strains of unmeditated art":  He compares the song to large amounts of spontaneous art.  This brings to mind the image of bright, carefree colors tossed, for a beautiful result.

"showers a rain of melody":  This brings to mind a rainshower, and how that sounds; it is a gentle, soft, steady noise, and one can easily imagine the bird's song fitting nicely with that image.

"music sweet as love...soothing her love-laden soul":  Here he compares the song to a woman in a tower who is singing songs to soothe her soul, which is filled with love.  One can just imagine a beatiful woman leaning out the tower, filling the air with a longing song.

"A flood of rapture so divine":  A flood is the image here-it brings to mind a bursting, overwhelming joy.  That is what the song makes him feel, and a flood is a good image to use.

"thy notes flow in such a crystal stream":  Imagine a beautiful stream, crystal-clear, flowing down a mountain; the bird's song is that clear, crisp, and beautiful.

"the fountains of they happy strain":  Here we can imagine a fountain of water bubbling with happy, joyous noises.  It's a good comparision to the uplifting spontanaity of the bird's song.

All of these images and more help us to not only hear the song, but to feel the same joy that Shelley does as he listens to it.

Read the study guide:
To a Skylark

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