Ode to a Skylark

May 20, 2018 | Author: Soma Biswas | Category: Sky, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Poetry, Idealism, Plato
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Ode to Skylark...


Ode To A Skylark  In Livorno in June of 1820, according to Mary Shelley, on a beautiful evening, she and Shelley heard the carolling of a lark, and that inspired the poet to copose the poe! "he attept turns out to be one in iitation of the bird#s skill! In his $efence of %oetry, %oetry, he &rote, '( '( poet is a nightingale, &ho sits in darkness and sings to cheer its o&n solitude &ith s&eet sounds) his auditors are en entranced by the elody of an unseen usician!!!* but the bird here is skylark, not nightingale! +hat the birds share, of course, is their invisibility, their reduction to pure bodiless voice! "herefore "herefore &e are to take the part as as a sybolic representation representation of bodiless audible beauty that strives, like the one in %lato#s %haedrus, up to&ards perfection! +hat atters for the poet is not any particular bird or thing, but is the idea of beauty! beauty! "he skylark can sustain a loud, erry usical note at great height &hile ying, and only &hile ying, and they soeties y so high that can only be heard and not seen! (ll these natural facts &ere su-cient to inspire Shelley to start the poe by calling the bird a spirit, '.ail to thee, /lithe spirit*! "hat Shelley calls the bird#s art '%rofuse strains of unpreeditated art* often gives a clue to the critics to call Shelley#s poe p oe itself an eercise eercise of unpreeditated art! "he net stana provides the oveent and activity of the bird, and this in turn becoes applicable to the &hole poe

'higher still and higher

3ro the earth thou springest,

Like a cloud of 4re,

 "he blue deep thou &ingest,

(nd singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest!*

(s Shelley sa& the bird singing in evening tie he ignored the literary fact that larks are orning birds, &hich Shakespeare relied upon for his faous debate bet&een 5oeo and Juliet over &hether the bird they have heard is the nightingale or the lark! 3or, above all, Shelley is concerned here &ith 'an unbodied 6oy &hose race has 6ust begun*! "he point of reference takes the safe propagandas bet&een the visible and the invisible &hich ay have the philosophical diension of the dialectics of the aterial and the spiritual

'Like a star of heaven

In the broad day7light!*

It even elicits the sense of eistence in bodiless beauty, beauty, as the idealist philosophers &ould believe, is essentially bodiless! (s a poet Shelley en6oys the lark#s outpourings as it can give hi aesthetic pleasure!

In the eighth stana Shelley likens the bird to 'a poet hiddenIn the light of thought*, and here &e coe to understand soething of his intention! /ut the bird is not hidden in 'the light of thought*! It is surrounded by its o&n happy outpourings! In the subse9uent four stanas, the bird#s song is likened to a high7born aiden#s song, to s glo& &or#s aerial hue, to a rose#s fragrance, to the 'sound of vernal sho&er* and the di:erent types of siile establish the one fact that '(ll that ever &asJoyous, and clear, and fresh, thy usic doth surpass!*

;o& the bird#s perfection of arts is seen in contrast to the iperfection of huan life and arts as &ell! .ere the bird coes nearer the one %lato#s %haedrus, &hich is an eaple of ho& and &hy huan beings should try to achieve the ideal! In an agonising gesture Shelley 9uestions the bird &hat philosophy of life enables it to live in the real of perfection! "he archetype of fountain as a sybol of poetic inspiration coes in Shelley#s ind along &ith the beautiful fors of nature,
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