What are examples of nature imagery used in the poem "An Eastern Ballad"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "An Eastern Ballad," Ginsberg focuses on two types of nature: the moon cycle and human nature. But upon further analysis, it seems the cycles of the moon connect to human nature allowing for change and growth.

The first stanza talks of nature in reference to the moon. The speaker...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In "An Eastern Ballad," Ginsberg focuses on two types of nature: the moon cycle and human nature. But upon further analysis, it seems the cycles of the moon connect to human nature allowing for change and growth.

The first stanza talks of nature in reference to the moon. The speaker personifies the moon by using the word "she" and calling her "faithful" and "blind." It seems these attributes speak to the moon cycle which moves from new to full and back again. The word "blind" also suggests the moon may not understand its effect on things like the sea and humans. The speaker says, "She moves in thought she cannot speak," which again speaks to the personification but also reveals the paradoxical nature of the lack of control she has over herself, yet the affect/control she has of life on earth.

We feel a shift as we embark onto stanza two where the speaker is focusing on himself intertwined with nature. He mentions the sea, the earth and the wildness of it all. Yet, the first two lines can be connected to the moon. He mentions the sea, its tides controlled by the moon, and the concept of darkness and sleep which can only take place during the night when the moon can be seen by the world.

In the last two lines, it seems the two types of nature are connected. The changing of day into night and the changing from a child to another are contingent upon time. These natural occurrences are helped in part by the dance of the sun and moon.

The full meaning here is unclear, as it could be interpreted in myriad ways, but when viewed through the lens of nature, we find the moon, its cycles, its effects on the sea and that of humans.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team