You are on page 1of 8

Trees- Emily Dickinson

This poem by Emily describes a summer day and also tells how the Sun appears and disappears
behind the clouds who are so many in numbers that can enfold the sun till eternity. But the
whimsical sun comes out at times to do the duty as to help the orchards grow, the birds and
snakes and many other lives to sustain.
In this poem Dickinson makes her preference pretty clear for the glories of such a day over even
the finest art. She begins in the trees. The morning winds have come up, buffeting the branches
until the trees bend and swing like the tassels one pulls to open a curtain or call the servants. As
the sun rises the air quiets and "Miniature Creatures" such as bees and swarms of gnats come
out, filling the air with the rapid beating of their tiny wings. The poet is enamoured by this
music, but notes that it can never "satisfy". It is a tease, most beautiful when out of reach, always
leaving one wanting more. Clouds sometimes cover the sun. Dickinson treats the sun if it were a
monarch. He shines "whole" at times, while sometimes he is "Half" or "utter hid" as if he need not
show himself at all. He has "Estates of Cloud" to shield him from the gaze of mere mortals. But
just as the most reclusive king will venture out for some pet fancy or other, so the sun has a
"whim" to "let the Orchards grow".
Dickinson then turns her attention to earth. A couple of birds are lazing about, and a snake
whispers his "silver" conversation as it slithers around a stone to find a spot of warmth. The
flowers also respond to the sun. Dickinson has them slitting open their calyxes – a wonderful
image – as if so full of energy that they must burst out by force. Like flags eagerly raised by
embattled troops, the flowers are "hoisted" up to soar on their stems, their petal hems full of spicy
fragrance. A glorious summer day has even more riches, but the poet admits she "cannot
mention" everything. She concludes the poem by saying that even a masterpiece by Sir Anthony
van Dyk (1599-1641) would seem "mean" or shabby by comparison.

The Wild Swans at Coole
Summary
With the trees “in their autumn beauty,” the speaker walks down the dry woodland paths to the
water, which mirrors the still October twilight of the sky. Upon the water float “nine-and-fifty
swans.” The speaker says that nineteen years have passed since he first came to the water and
counted the swans; that first time, before he had “well finished,” he saw the swans mount up into
the sky and scatter, “whelling in great broken rings / Upon their clamorous wings.” The speaker
says that his heart is sore, for after nineteen autumns of watching and being cheered by the
swans, he finds that everything in his life has changed. The swans, though, are still unwearied,
and they paddle by in the water or fly by in the air in pairs, “lover by lover.” Their hearts, the
speaker says, “have not grown cold,” and wherever they go they are attended by “passion or
conquest.” But now, as they drift over the still water, they are “Mysterious, beautiful,” and the
speaker wonders where they will build their nests, and by what lake’s edge or pool they will
“delight men’s eyes,” when he awakes one morning to find that they have flown away.
Form

so that the pattern of stressed syllables in each stanza is 434353. “The Wild Swans at Coole. and sixth lines in trimeter. and the carefully constructed poetic stanza—the two trimeter lines. . The rhyme scheme in each stanza is ABCBDD. He is thus the great poet of old age. is given its solemn serenity by the beautiful nature imagery of the early stanzas. and the fifth line in pentameter. writing honestly and with astonishing force about the pain of time’s passage and feeling that the ageless heart was “fastened to a dying animal.” (And when Yeats says “All’s changed. which give the poet an opportunity to utter short. contrasts sharply with the swans. The water is lapping at the edge of the lake. fourth. The speaker.”). his poetic reputation today is founded almost solely on poems written after he was fifty. ! ! ! ! ! ! In the first stanza Yeats describes a sweet autumn scene. Analysis One of the most unusual features of Yeats’s poetic career is the fact that the poet came into his greatest powers only as he neared old age... they are still attended by passion and conquest. which are treated as symbols of the essential: their hearts have not grown old. we see his longing for the quiet life that nature can bring. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Coole Lake is like a mirror reflecting the sky. with the first and third lines in tetrameter. The trees are covered in multi-coloured leaves. caught up in the gentle pain of personal memory. which was an estate owned by Lady Augusta Gregory in Ireland. Yeats continued to grow more confident and more innovative with his writing until almost the day he died. Yeats was inspired to write the poem after seeing 59 wild swans at Coole Park. the plaintive tone of the poet. recounting the poet’s trips to the lake at Augusta Gregory’s Coole Park residence to count the swans on the water.” part of the 1919 collection of the same name. the second. whereas many poets fade after the first burst of youth. Though he was a famous and successful writer in his youth. Throughout his poems. each written in a roughly iambic meter. The weather is dry and calm. changed utterly” in the fifteen years since he first saw the swans.The Wild Swans at Coole is written in a very regular stanza form: five six-line stanzas.” The great struggle that enlivens many of Yeats’s best poems is the struggle to uphold the integrity of the soul. Background on the Poem and the Author William Butler Yeats is probably Ireland's most famous poet. is one of Yeats’s earliest and most moving testaments to the heart-ache of living in a time when “all’s changed. heartfelt statements before a long silence ensured by the short line (“Their hearts have not grown old. and to preserve the mind’s connection to the “deep heart’s core.) The simple narrative of the poem. It is October.” as he wrote in “Sailing to Byzantium. He wrote 'The Wild Swans at Coole' and published it in 1917 in a whole book of poems under that same title.” despite physical decay and the pain of memory. he means it—the First World War and the Irish civil war both occurred during these years.

! Yeats admits the swans have not grown weary. on a dry October evening. ! Now he feels emotional. ! By emphasising the word autumn here. He is in woodland beside a lake at twilight. ! They are mysterious and beautiful. ! He likes to observe the swans at twilight or dusk. he claims to have looked a lot at the fantastic swans. ! Everything in Yeats’ life has changed during those nineteen years. ! Their hearts are still young.! Fifty-nine swans float on the water. Yeats gazes fondly at the swans. Yeats admits that it is nineteen years since he first counted the swans on Coole Lake. ! They fly together. ! As he ages. They look mysterious as they paddle calmly on the still waters. Yeats has a picture of a beautiful setting of the swans building their nests in rushes near water. They make a splendid bell like sound whenever they fly away together. he is showing that he views himself as being in the autumn of his years. He knows the swans will fly away to other lakes in magnificent circular formations. ! They paddle as friends in the water. ! When he first heard the bell like beat of the swans’ wings he walked more energetically and with a happier heart. ! He imagines they will fly away from him to show their beauty to other people. ! In the third stanza. Yeats feels that he no longer has the respect of nature. The beautiful leaves of autumn decorate the trees. ! He wonders where else they will inhabit. as well as in October. The swans are close-knit and full of energy and a love of life. ! They remain faithful to their lover or partner swan. they delight all who look on them Aging . ! In the second stanza. Fifty-nine swans float peacefully on a lake. ! He questions their future. ! This sudden flight disturbed the tranquillity of the scene. Themes Nature Yeats shows the beauty of the autumn scene. ! The swans still have passion and desire for success. Above all else. ! These times mirror each other because they show beauty or light fading and are a reminder of time moving on. ! He remembers that the swans flew away loudly as a group in huge broken circles. ! In the final stanza. Stones create a nice scene on the lake. his heart is sore.

there were six shows of the plays every month for a period of six months at Ranga Shankara which is a record of sorts. By stating that their hearts have not grown old. . Autumn highlights the transience of the year. He has a sense of the coming ending of his own life. The poem shows a sharp awareness of human transience: ‘all’s changed’. he seems to mean that his heart has aged. year by year.Yeats is concerned with his aging. The swans as a species do not age—they are ‘unwearied’. Three unique things happened when Ranga Shankara produced the play in March 2005 – a.Girish Karnad directed his play for the first time (the last time Karnad directed a play was 40 years ago when he did Badal Sircar’s Evam Indrajit) b.Ranga Shankara produced it’s first play c. He feels he is losing the energy and love of life that the swans still possess. He walks more heavily now than nineteen years before when he had a lighter footstep. They as a species will outlast the poet. The fact that things change is known as transience.A play opened in two different languages The two plays performed to full-houses at the Ranga Shankara auditorium. between March 22nd and 27th of 2005. Rave reviews in both the print and electronic media greeted the play that successfully straddles both theatre and technology for the first time in Indian theatre. Subsequently Karnad also wrote the English version – “A Heap of Broken Images”. twilight highlights the transience or passing of day. From then on. Their passion. Broken Images Girish Karnad’s “Bikhre Bimb” was born as “Odakalu Bimba” in Kannada and was written exclusively for Ranga Shankara’s opening festival in October 2004. When the 35-day festival was designed to celebrate the birth of Ranga Shankara. His heart is sore and weary rather than full of passion. Immortality The swans represent permanence or immortality. The passing of time does not cause the swans to fade. it was decided that a new production of its nature was more appropriate for a later date. He feels the swans will leave him when he reaches old age. He is highly aware that nineteen years have passed in his life since he first observed the swans at Coole Lake. energy. desire for success and beauty will last. Their hearts remain young.

The one-act one-performer play tells the story of Manjula Nayak. a professor of English literature who has been an unsuccessful writer in Kannada. the epics and the roots of tradition (Yayati. It is Malini who not only wins the love of Manjula’s husband. one-act monologue. After her death. The central character Manjula. The audience doesn't know exactly who the character on the screen is supposed to represent—Manjula’s inner self or her outer one. she explains how she's been criticized for writing it in English instead of her native language.This time around. It is not her. her image on screen is addressing herself on the stage. her conscience or her ego—but regardless. the technology driven hyper. the TV Manjula begins probing her on-stage self about the same issues she’d discussed in the presentation. and how much her family supported her through its writing. wheelchair bound sister. It also deals with psychological repression of an inverted kind. At the end of her presentation. In the talk. BROKEN IMAGES has one set – a TV studio – but a multi-layered theme. of course. After she finishes her introduction. she is confronted by her own image on the screen which poses questions on betrayal of her language and identity when she chooses to write in English. it is Manjula whose loveless married life ends by Pramod walking out and moving to Los Angeles and the phenomenal success that she has wrested from Malini by stealing Malini’s unpublished MSS tasting like poison. Kannada-turnedEnglish writer has a handicapped. A one-character. those expressed through language. the now successful. Manjula Nayak. prior to a film on it is telecast. Pramod. giving a short presentation introducing the movie version of her now-bestselling book. he still explores roots but they are of another kind. why she chose that language (because. The story starts with her introducing the audience to her novel in a TV studio. virtual reality created by a media focused on navel-gazing and engaged in both inventing and celebrating celebrityhood. Malini. Nagamandala). The story of Broken Images starts with the author. Manjula. slowly unravelling the real story of how and why the book came about and the role her family played in it. she explains. It looks like her but it is Malini and the conflict between the self and the image. to the exclusion of all else. It weaves in issues as far apart as the hegemony of English over Indian languages and the hollowness of a media which bestows greatness on a work that lay unnoticed in its original language but when translated into English becomes the toast of the global literary world. . The metaphor of Manjula aka Shabana talking about her heroic exploits with the book on a live television show ends with her finding that her image just does not leave the monitor. But it is the disabled Malini who turns out to be the really healthy and whole person. she prepares to leave the set but her image on the monitor televising her presentation keeps talking. Tughlaq.Not just that. the play marks a departure from Karnad’s earlier concerns with mythology. the search for identity. Only this time. but is far more centered and happy than her caretaker sister. which becomes a bestseller. She finds international acclaim when she writes a novel in English. that's how it came to her).

for works that are many years away to seeing the light of day. we have limited ourselves to broken electronic images. for fat advances from foreign publishers.is why our intellectuals can't grasp this simple fact." We see Manjula Nayak subjected to an interrogation that teases.. etc. Kolkata. for invitations to foreign colleges. lecture tours and autograph signing sprees. where the sun beats. . The 55-minute play progresses towards a tight and stirring finish as Manjula seems to morph into Malini as "differences of ink and blood and language" are obliterated in a Babel of voices and a jumble of television images.What baffles me . In appropriating the stolen novel. communication lapse and political instability in a transfigured existence. duplicitous relative.… The discordant images refer to generation gap. a defiant Manjula shouts: "I wrote the novel in English because it burst out in English.. It is a scathing look at the Indian literary establishment as well as a moving story of conflict and the desire for fame.S. Eliot’s ’Wasteland’: A heap of broken images. There are also the questions that stare in the face: are the Indian English cut off from the "smell of the soil.between delusion and reality. too. The play highlights the conflict between writing in one s own language and foreign language ’A HEAP of Broken Images’ (English) explores the dilemma of Indian writers who choose to write in English. And in this pseudo-modern world. taunts and finally strips the secrets from her soul. hurts me . finds her conceits punctured and her deceptions gradually unravelled. was always at home) and now published by Manjula. Broken Images takes many a side swipe at all those writers in English who are constantly in the news. Chennai." have they sold out to a market-driven economy. The electronic media has given birth to a new kind of reality termed ‘virtual reality’-a reality that the media daringly project and the audience willingly believe. spiritual disintegration. Finally she is forced into anger or emotional collapse. one in which her sister has caricatured her and made her out to be a pushy. conniving. The play starts off from T. have they struck a trade-off with their conscience by not writing in their native language.actually. etc. The play (’Odakalu Bimba’ in Kannada and ’Bikhre Bimb’ in Hindi) was penned by Girish Karnad in 2004 and has traveled to various festivals across the country and has been independently staged to critical acclaim and popular success in Delhi. her far from easy relationship with her dead sister Malini and the mysterious circumstances in which the best-selling novel that was written by Malini (with the help of Pramod who. The TV image reveals the sordid truth about Manjula's marriage. Girish Karnad's 'A Heap of Broken Images' is a scathing look at the Indian literary establishment as well as a moving story of conflict and desire for fame. between the outer mask and the inner truth that emerges in the tussle between the sisters and is the very stuff of the drama. And the dead tree gives no shelter. Mumbai. Pune and Hyderabad..

Manjula affirms that her sister had adjusted beautifully with them and died a few months before the book came out. The only alternative left for her is to wear her heart inside out. Apparently. Manjula steals . and has ‘literally’ stolen Malini’s identity.Electronic channels are quite often far from the truth in an age where news channels have rendered themselves into gossip channels. It was later that she met Pramod. Girish Karnad ascertains that the play was the result of a conversation that he had with the writer Shashi Deshpande who had an emotional encounter at the writer’s conference in Neemrana between the regional writers versus the English writers. Given an opportunity. Malini had first caught her parents’ attention and later Pramod’s. The image interrogates Manjula in a scene reminiscent of the trial of Benare in Silence! The Court is in Session. The truth is unraveled as Manjula is entrapped in a whirlpool of questions from which she has no escape. A Heap of Broken Images – A synopsis: Manjula is a lesser-known Kannada short story writer till she wins accolades for her maiden English novel. As she has finished her ‘rehearsed’ 15-minute speech. She was always the focus of attention. Manjula has not penned even a word of the novel. through the objective correlative of the writer’s confrontation with her own image. Again.in looks and in intelligence. However. At the end of the play the term ‘virtual reality’ exchanges itself-as the human being seems virtual or fraudulent and image grows to be more real. Malini moved in with them. Here. The novel is said to be based on her crippled sister who suffers from meningomyetocele and whose whole life was confined to the wheel chair. Manjula had to always settle for second place and was constantly disregarded. The announcer at the television studio introduces the literary genius Manjula Nayak. Her father left most of his assets in Malini’s name. she prepares to leave the room when she encounters her image on the screen that is not her reflection. it was her revenge for years of agony. Manjula is often portrayed as the venomous first cousin in the novel. creativity and language. we find the image fighting itself back. the image on the screen becomes real in comparison to the deceptive human being on the other side. Malini excelled in all areas over Manjula . Finally. but due to lack of choice. married him and settled down in Jayanagar. After her parents’ demise. the Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy is supposed to have burst out against English writers claiming that English writers were like prostitutes since they wrote with an eye for money and global reach the language offers. Therefore. the writer Manjula Nayak stands as a metaphor for all those writers limited to their native language (Kannada). unveiling the truth on the other side. The image of Malini projects the Indian English writer who is ostracised for his stupendous success because the native writer (Manjula) has to settle for second place. not out of responsibility.. she says. later the truth unfolds. as Malini stalked her and pinned her down in ’coruscating prose’. The writer also highlights the age-old conflict between writing in one’s own language and a foreign language. The image of Manjula morphs into Malini at a climatic juncture in the play.

Manjula looks into a ‘broken mirror’ to reveal bits and pieces of the personality . Hence the term ’Broken Images’. though she pretends to be addicted to the Kannada language. Manjula is with him out of the matrimonial ties of responsibility. The significance of the play reverberates as Manjula utters a Kannada proverb in the play: A response is good. The objective correlative of these broken mirror images is the different small screens that flash different images of Manjula at the end of the play.but totally disjointed.’ (265) . it ascertains: ’However I am in truth Malini. The only coherent image appears to be the image of Malini that eloquently asserts: ’I am Malini Nayak. This leaves the readers wondering that if writing in English is termed ’prostitution’. But a meaningful response is better. the Kannada short-story writer was decimated the moment she read my novel. She thus obliterated all differences of ink and blood and language between us and at one full stroke morphed into me. the English novelist. Manjula Nayak. This is why Malini avows that the Kannada-writer was decimated at the very moment she read the English novel. Malini ’knew Kannada’ and therefore knew her roots. and fails to live up to her responsibilities of a wife. some of her sister .’ (283) The Kannada writer betrays herself the very moment she makes association with an English novel by reading it. More significantly.’ (284) When the image claims that Malini ’loved my husband’ it is evident that Manjula did not. Malini is with him purely out of love. ’A Heap of Broken Images’ is essentially Karnad’s response to his critics. As the image finally morphs. These are in contrast to real broken mirror parts that at a fraction of time reflect the same image of the person in all the pieces. then what does it make the Kannada writer reading the English novel at the other end.some hers.Malini’s work in English. my genius of a sister who loved my husband knew Kannada and wrote in English. The sisters’ rapport with Pramod symbolises their bond with their motherland. as Pramod continuously pines for attention.