Explore the ways in which the poet has used language and other poetic devices to present the ideas in RTW and Lament?
Poets of both Report to Wordsworth and Lament have presented their ideas through special and effective usage of language and other poetic devices to convey the message of Loss of Nature. Both themes have the similar themes of Nature and Loss. This has been blamed onto “Insatiate man” and his carelessness towards nature. Boey Kim Cheng and Gillian Clarke convey their message of hopelessness across in an attempt to make the reader understand the gravity of the situation and carry out corrective measures.
The themes of Lament are: Loss, Nature and Relationships. The themes of RTW are Nature and Present State of World. The two poems have a sad and sorrowful tone as they both tell the reader of how nature has suffered due to man’s careless behavior. Gillian Clarke laments for the loss of nature after the Gulf war of 1991 when Iraq invaded Kuwait and USA with Britain’s help bombed Iraq out of Kuwait. This also shows loss and decay of relationships. In Report to Wordsworth Boey Kim Cheng writes to Wordsworth using dark and sad imageries to leave a strong impact on the reader and help them understand the extent of suffering of nature, Kim Cheng’s dark choice of language also helps the reader understand how delicate elements are suffering due to pollution. “In a sky slowing like a dying clock”.
Boey Kim Cheng uses punctuation effectively to convey the dark message and facilitate his hopeless tone of the poem. He therefore draws the attention of the reader towards the problem almost having a desperate and urgent tone. Example: “You should be here. Nature has need of you.” Personification can also be observed here as Nature is personified to emphasize upon the themes of Loss and Nature. In Lament Clarke laments for the loss of different elements of nature due to the Gulf War 1991. She talks about each animal in particular who has suffered due to man’s carelessness. She even uses commas in places to create the lamenting tone, whilst using the listing device as well. Example: “For the cormorant in his funeral silk, the veil of iridescence on the sand, the shadow on the sea”.
Both poems present the idea of death to emphasize upon the theme of Loss. In Lament, Clarke uses phrases such as “Sun put out”, “scalded ocean”, “blazing well” “slow dying” and “burnt ocean”. In Report to Wordsworth, specific phrases also indicate towards death such as “Slow like a dying clock”. Hopelessness is very strongly felt in both the poems. Symbolism has been effectively used in Report to Wordsworth to show death and failure of divine entities through the characters of Triton, Proteus and Neptune. Example: “God is laboring to utter his last cry.”
Both the poems have effective use of language and other poetic devices to get the message across of loss of Nature and Hopelessness. Both poets make the devastation of nature an urgent case, in which humankind should be interested in as it is purely blamed upon us making one feel guilty even though none of the two poets provide any helpful solution. This makes a heavy impact on the reader and urges him/her to carry out corrective measures.
Class of 2011