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A WALK BY MOONLIGHT (SUMMARY)

BY HENRY DEROZIO
A walk by moonlight is poetry to awaken our conscience. In this
poem Derozio not only recounts an experience but also vividly
describes the effect of such an experience on his mind and heart.
The effect is profound and the experience radically changes his
perception. Through this poem Derozio illustrates how a casual
walk and the observations thus made, compel him to question life
and introspect.
The poet has been to one of his friends house where he met
three other friends. They at once joined him for a walk in the
evening whose sounds and sights urge him to compose this
poem. The poem begins with pleasant memories of the previous
night and the poet feels blessed and fortunate for its gifts. In the
future whenever his mind is in turmoil and depression he could
also turn back to these beautiful moments and find solace in
memories. Although he believes that eventually with time the
memories may fade but they would never disappear and the new
found memories are so illuminating that his heart could have
flown.
On the walk, they witness the vast open area which was blanched
by the moonlit sky and presents a catalogue of natural events
that seemed to the poet as if they were paying homage to the
divine beauty of the moonlight. The moon looked powerful and
majestic in the sky and benignly looked down upon the earth. The
clouds passed by the moon without obscuring her as if they were
paying tribute to the moon for its soft silvery light in the night.
The leaves of the trees dressed in the silvery moonlight were
dancing in the breeze as if celebrating its impact. Even the wind
was singing in the praise of the strength of the moon. They take
on the role of the minstrels whose songs provoke Derozios soul.
He feels that there is something magical about the night that

binds all the elements together in its spell, enchants us with its
beauty and fills our hearts and souls with divine pleasure/joy.
Derozio and his friends are so moved to such an extent that they
not only saw but also felt the moonlight around them.
Amidst such surroundings, the poet turns philosophical and grows
sensitive to the objects of nature, and then he speaks of the
obscure unrealities that lend us pleasure of a better insight, when
we are able to connect with our spiritual self. He speaks of a
mysterious relationship between man and nature and marvels at
the divine joy which touches the human hearts through the
natural world. In such a mood the earthliness leaves and we begin
to realize the spiritual quality of everything on earth that is
immortal. Now the poet views nature-the wind, the night, the
stars, the moon not as inanimate but full of life. He realizes that
to understand the universe we must first understand ourselves. In
the present times which we are living, our senses have become
numb. We have lost the opportunity to be stirred by the beauty of
nature but Derozio discovers immense joy as his senses are
awakened and he establishes a oneness and interconnectedness
with nature. Now enlightened, the self realization is sudden and
rare. The perception that the poet feels his human heart is gently
bound to everything and all elements of nature form inseparable
part of his heart is the outcome of his heightened sensitivity.
Moreover he then recognizes the voices that this night wind sings,
the rustling of leaves, winds passing through the trees and we
apprehend that the nature carries a message. The inner eye
opens up and we can see real possibilities that are within us.
These glorious things may appear to others only in dreams but for
the poet and his friends, they appear woven in different colours of
rainbow. They are not unreachable now. Derozio thanks god and
nature for illuminating him in this life itself, the ecstasy of which
could only be experienced in other life i.e. death. His heart feels
happy and better when he realizes that his heart and nature are

interconnected and he is a part of nature and nature is a part of


his heart. Though the elements of nature i.e. flowers, stars and
sky may appear to be lifeless and aloof, the significance of which
is not understood by an ordinary mind but they have an objective
and a purpose. They all move the human heart to sensitivity.
Derozio concludes by reaching the climax and realizing that he
cannot crush the grass beneath his feet as it is pulsating with life.
It is a moment of great spiritual insight and heightened sensitivity.
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