Poets offer a glimpse of their musings through their poetry, and often we find that they do a very good job in casting word imageries. There are numerous poems with beautiful imageries and we have plenty of such poets who deserve to be credited for their works. Among the whole lot of poets, the generation of romantic poets is very well known for their infusion of ethereal elements of Nature with their thoughts to create beautiful poetry. With due respects to all such poets who have used their imagination to give us beautiful imageries, following are few of such poems which highlight such works:
- The Cloud, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelley’s The Cloud is a rush of imagination that has translated a phenomenon which is obvious but remains hidden from our eyes. The poem is factually about the water cycle, which all of us have learnt at school. But to create a poetic rendition about the same is what makes Shelley’s poem so superior. The entire poem uses rhetoric with beautiful figure of speeches to describe the making of the cloud and its connection to other elements of nature. Following are some lines from the poem.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ‘tis my pillow white
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits…..
- Frost at Midnight, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A silent winter night, a dying flame at the fire place and the presence of a soundly sleeping infant beside the poet- serve the perfect ingredients for Coleridge’s deep poetic thoughts. Coleridge takes the reader through his series of thoughts that his mind wanders through. The poem’s verse meanders through his silent room, to his childhood nostalgia, and finally culminates into a prayer for Coleridge’s child. The concluding stanza of the poem is a beautiful evocation.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
- The Wild Swans at Coole, William Butler Yeats
Yeats reflects upon a flock of swans on the cool waters of a lake. While he admires the birds and the autumn milieu, he throws in the idea of mutability of life. Some parts from the poems that create a vision:
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings…..
- The Story of a Pearl, Sir Edwin Arnold
Arnold is popular for his The Light of Asia, but this lesser known poem by him resounds of romantic sentiments. The poem talks of the journey of a little rain drop that is transformed into a magnificent pearl and becomes a Sultan’s prized jewel. Some lines from it:
‘Woe is me! By Allah, I am nought; what counts one raindrop in the sea?’
But while it mocked and mourned itself for littleness forlorn,
Into a sea-shell’s open lips the drop of rain was borne,
Where many a day and night it lay hidden, until it grew
A lovely pearl of perfect ray, faultless in form and hue….
- Piano, D H Lawrence
A tender poem about the poet’s childhood nostalgia of spending time with his mother, Piano is a succinctly expressed emotional account. Lawrence remembers the Sunday evenings he spent with his mother who played the piano. The poem arouses grief with the scenes of mother-son bonding, as it relates to the pain of bereavement. The poem begins:
Softly in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings….
These are some few poems that deliver intense messages through word pictures. Thanks to such creative men, we are able to perceive such beautiful ideas made palpable through the mastery use of words.