Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Explanatory note on Lord Ullin’s Daughter – Thomas Campbell

The atmosphere is one of the distinct characteristics of the poem Lord Ullin’s Daughter. The poem starts with an agitated atmosphere that arrests our attention. A chieftain of the highlands rushes to the seashore with his beloved and orders a boatman to row them across the sea without delay. He promises to give the boatman a silver pound.
The chieftain’s restlessness and anxiety are evident here, though why he is in a hurry is not clear. It arouses the boatman’s curiosity to know who they are. Then the chieftain introduces himself as the chief of Ulva Isle and his beloved as Lord Ullin’s daughter. Expressing his anxiety the chieftain tells the boatman in a troubled voice that they have been on the run for three days to escape the wrath of her father.
Adding to his agitation and the upset atmosphere are Lord Ullin’s horsemen chasing the love birds. The chieftain keeps worrying over the thought that if he is slain, what will become of his boney bride. He is being chased by Lord Ullin’s armed men on one hand and faced with the raging waves on the other hand. His miserable condition is like a person stuck between a rock and a stone.
All the forces of nature stand as a barrier on the way of the fleeing lovers. The storm grows wilder; the waves rise higher; the sky becomes more furious and the atmosphere gets darker making it difficult for them to reach a safe destination.
The chieftain’s heart beats rapidly as he hears the ‘tramping sound of the horsemen behind him. To see the impending danger the bride cries out, “O haste thee, haste!” She prefers facing the fury of the wild nature over her angry father. Her fear gives us an idea of how merciless her father could be.
When Lord Ullin catches a glimpse of his daughter amidst the roaring waves, the raging person in him turns into a wailing father. His heart misses a beat to see her in danger. The bride herself is in a dilemma. She stretches one arm towards her father for help and holds her lover with the other arm.
Marking a sudden change in the atmosphere from agitation to tranquility is the transformed mood of Lord Ullin from rage to grief. The lamenting father prays to his daughter to come back, but all his pleas fall on a stony ground. He is left with a heavy heart on the shore lashed by the loud waves.            

Sunday, 2 September 2012

W.B Yeats has used many visual and sound images in the poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” to express his heart-felt desire to stay close to nature. Pick out those images from the poem and explain them.

The poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” is a collage of visual and sound images which are expressive of the poet W.B. Yeats’ yearning to stay close to nature. ‘Small cabin….of clay and wattles’ ‘nine bean-rows’, ‘honey-bee’, ‘bee-loud glade’, ‘midnight’s all a glimmer’, ‘moon a purple glow’, and ‘lake water lapping’ are the prominent visual images in the poem. These visually appealing images are used to reflect the peaceful, soothing natural ambience of the place of Innisfree. The palette of sound images includes ‘linnet’s wings’, ‘cricket sings’ and ‘lake water lapping with low sounds’. These sound images are carefully chosen to reflect the musical ambience of Innisfree.   

Why is the place of Innisfree special or close to the poet W.B. Yeats’ heart in the poem?

The place of Innisfree is close to W.B. Yeats’ heart for several reasons – natural beauty, pleasant environment, soothing ambience and peaceful surrounding. Innisfree is amidst natural artifices. The place appeals to the poet’s heart since it is very close to nature. Days and nights are cozy there. The place is abuzz with the music of crickets and linnets. Silence and peacefulness are nearly synonymous. A place that is free of noise is supposed to be peaceful. However, the silent and placid ambience of Innisfree is eloquent with the music of linnets and crickets. Such music is pleasant to the poet in the place far from the madding crowd.