Themes and Meanings

(Critical Guide to Poetry for Students)

“Country Stars” is a poem about vision and the bond between humankind and nature. The poem presents many perspectives on vision. There is the blurred vision of the child, the clouded vision of the city dwellers viewing the sky through polluted air, and the total loss of vision expressed through the blackness of the night. Scenes are viewed from a distance as well as from close proximity. They are even viewed through such different mediums as glass and polluted air. There is, though, one who sees with a penetrating vision and clarity all that escapes the multitudes. This is the omniscient poet, who rejoices in the beauty of the country stars passing over the apple trees and the “bright watchers” in the sky over the city and wishes to share this joy. The poet as seer, however, also realizes that the joy he experiences in this relationship between himself and the beautiful night sky is doomed to be a solitary experience if humanity is not more conscious of the environment. Through “Country Stars,” Meredith attempts to instill this consciousness in his readers.

The poet sees humanity through its own means destroying a very special relationship with beauty and nature. The theme of a relationship begins with the poet’s depiction of the trusting relationship between parent and child in the scene in which the child comes without her glasses to be kissed goodnight. This relationship is extended to that between nature and humankind when the poet...

(The entire section is 473 words.)