Bryant’s poetry

Length: 2 Pages 444 Words

William Bryant’s poetry often leads to thoughts on nature, the meaning of life, and death. Meditation on death is the Greek translation for ‘Thanatopsis’ which is one of his poems. The body of the poem speaks of everything that lives must die but also of how death is natural. This argues against Orthodox Christianity. The introduction and the conclusion of the poem promise something that the body does not fulfill. The beginning talks about those who ‘Hold communion’ with nature and how she has ‘Various languages’ for the changing of one’s moods. How ‘For gayer hours/ She has a voice of gladness’ and ‘She glides/ Into his darker m Continue...


usings, with a mild And healing sympathy'. 'The yellow violet's modest bell Peeps from the last year's leaves below' tells us this is the first flower to bloom after winter. ' Although the notion is missing in the body it returns in the conclusion. In Bryant's poem 'Yellow Violent' the narrator becomes changed by nature. This side of nature promises healing and consolation. ' This is a lesson that nature has taught him therefore this work fulfills the promise of nature. The flower is special to the narrator who says 'Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare, To meet thee when thy faint perfume. ' The romantic notion of communication between man and nature is missing in the body of Bryant's 'Thanatopsis. ' The narrator then realizes that he has a mistake by saying 'So they, who climb to wealth, forget The friends in darker fortunes tried. ' This goes back to the idea of nature being more than just the decoration that the body speaks of. ' Also in the body it talks of the people of the earth, no matter what their station, will all be buried together, 'All in one mighty sepulchre. However, the lines 'The venerable woods-- the rivers that move' In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green: and, poured round all, Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,-- Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man' show nature as merely a decoration not something in which you can 'Hold communion. I copied them-- but I regret That I should ape the ways of pride. ' However, as spring moves on the author begins to neglect his yellow violent for 'Loftier flowers are flaunting nigh' until 'Midst the gorgeous blooms of May, I passed thee on thy humble stalk.