Birds & Beasts

Mindmap of poems from the 'Birds & Beasts' collection with an analysis of important quotations based on some themes in the poems.

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  • Created by: R_S_E
  • Created on: 31-03-14 17:32
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  • Birds & Beasts
    • SONNET: 'I LOVE TO HEAR THE EVENING CROWS GO BY
      • Superiority of the Animal World
        • ‘And see the starnels darken down the sky’ 
          • hyperbolic imagery emphasising the power of the birds if something so insignificant and small can have an impact on something as large as the sky
        • ‘The stranger birds to distant places go’ 
          • comparative adjective suggests a lack of understanding about the birds or mystery; they’re beyond human conception and in this way superior
      • Harmony
        • "Nor fears the shout of passing boy"
          • Bird is not scared and continues to sing - work in harmony
        • Rhyming scheme suggests interconnectivity between the birds and the humans
        • "Maiden sweeping out the crumbs"
          • Robin comes at the exact right time = routine / connection
      • Admiration
        • "As if a wary watching hawk was nigh"
          • On guard even in the absence of danger - alliteration - creating admiration for their survival instincts
        • "Bleaching stacks the bustling sparrow leaves / And plops..."
          • Enjambment emphasises their activity
          • Plosive sounds repeated throughout reflects the energy (as does the onomatopoeia)
    • THE PETTICHAP'S NEST
      • Lack of harmony between man and nature
        • ‘That trample past them twenty times a day’
          • Always seems to be on the cusp of being destroyed 
        • ‘close by the rut-gulled wagon road’
          • admiration for where the bird is living amongst such danger 
      • Awe at Nature
        • ‘Built like an oven’ ‘snug entrance’ ‘lined with feathers warm’
          • Simile suggests it strength yet it is described like a human house suggesting equality of skill = admiration
        • ‘A place less likely for a bird to form / Its nest’ 
          • Enjambment suggests credulity (no time to pause and consider)
        • ‘close by the rut-gulled wagon road’
          • admiration for where the bird is living amongst such danger 
        • Caesura to mark break between breathing and talking
      • Vulnerability of nature and how it protects itself
        • ‘Yet like a  miracle in safety’s lap’ 
          • personification of safety suggests that there is a force/spiritual form of nature protecting the nest
        • The fact that it could be destroyed at any moment: vulnerability juxtaposed with tactile imagery of force
        • ‘When green grasshopper’s jump might break the shells’ 
          • Hyperbole exaggerates the delicate condition of the nest to emphasise its vulnerability
    • THE WREN
      • Nature reanimating the past
        • “why is the cuckoo’s melody preferred/and nightingale’s rich song so fondly praised”
          • Praises even the birds not normally used in poetry - sees wren and robin as merry bringers that recall the past in their songs
        • “crowds of happy memories brought”
          • conjunction between “happy memories” and “brought” creates a tone of peace and satisfaction with the present rather than of a desire to return to the past
      • Connectivity with Nature
        • “one’s heart to ecstasy and mirth”
          • What the stories do - nature makes people elated and joyful
        • “nature’s minstrelsy”
          • Metaphor: depicting nature as a living and breathing entity which entertains us by ‘telling stories’ through its sounds and the habits of its creatures
        • “Tenting my sheep and still they come to tell/The happy stories of the past again”
          • Harmonious scene between the landscape and the person
          • “still”, “again” and “to tell” suggest nature’s eternity and its deliberate desire to inspire the speaker: as long as there are people working in the landscape, nature will reward them with its songs and ‘stories’
      • Love of nature / source of inspiration
        • Joyful, nostalgic tone
        • Sonnet form to both reflect Clare's love of nature and nature's love of man
    • SONNET: 'I FOUND A BALL OF GRASS AMONG THE HAY'
      • Revealing Nature
        • ‘With all her young ones hanging at her teats / She looked so odd and so grotesque to me’
          • Clare is not romanticising his account, rather telling it what as it is suggesting nature is more primitive than a source of spiritual inspiration
      • Mystery
        • "I ran and wondered what a thing could be"
          • doesn’t understand, wants knowledge
      • Admiration
        • ‘The water o’er pebbles scarce could run / And borad old cesspools glittered in the son’
          • Admiration for nature’s beauty
        • ‘She found her nest again among the hay’
          • Admiration for the way they rebuild despite human interference
        • "bolted in the wheat"
          • Admiration of survival instinct
    • THE LANDRAIL
      • Mystery of Nature
        • “we know”, “we hear”, men “wonder” and “guess” 
          • Repeated verbs of menatal activity suggest that the bird is beyond human power
        • ‘And now I hear it in the grass… And now ‘tis in the grain’ 
          • Issues of Religious Faith
            • ‘’Tis like a fancy everywhere, A sort of living doubt’
              • symbolic of God, you can never see it but you must trust that it exists
          • Aural imagery is juxtaposed with visual imagery of physical movement ‘peep / look’ which is used by Clare to describe the vain efforts of humans to find the bird
          • Like God the Landrail is omnipresent
      • Harmony
        • ‘When knee deep waves the corn’ 
          • physical closeness / plenty of nature providing for humans
        • Reflected by the regular abab rhyme scheme which highlights the balance between them
      • Issues of Religious Faith
        • ‘’Tis like a fancy everywhere, A sort of living doubt’
          • symbolic of God, you can never see it but you must trust that it exists
    • SONNET: THE HEDGEHOG
      • Admiration
        • "It rolls up like a ball, a shapeless hog"
          • caesura to mark the action, survival instinct
        • “hides beneath the rotten hedge” 
          • mysterious, protects itself, shy, builds homes in difficult conditions
      • Conflict between nature and humanity
        • Juxtaposing the hedgehog’s timidity ‘hides’ ‘creeps away’ with the violent actions of the gypsies ‘hunt the field’ ‘hunt them out’ stresses the conflict and vulnerability of the hedgehog
        • “I’ve seen it in their camps; they call it sweet,/Though black and bitter and unsavoury meat” 
          • admonition or disbelief at the lengths humans can go in their exploitation of nature
          • Social Protest
            • ‘And eat what dogs refuse’
              • Desperate position the gypsies are in which is emphasised the repetition of verbs like ‘hunt/savage’ which further suggest their poverty
            • ‘Nibble their fleshy teats and make them dry’
              • kind of hyperbole exaggerating the desperate situation the gypsies are in to show their extreme hunger and thirst
      • Social Protest
        • ‘And eat what dogs refuse’
          • Desperate position the gypsies are in which is emphasised the repetition of verbs like ‘hunt/savage’ which further suggest their poverty
        • ‘Nibble their fleshy teats and make them dry’
          • kind of hyperbole exaggerating the desperate situation the gypsies are in to show their extreme hunger and thirst
    • THE ANTS
      • Mystery of Natre
        • ‘Surely they speak a language whisperingly’ 
          • metaphor for how different / mysterious they are, for their organisation they must be like humans
        • 'In ignorance we muse’ 
          • animal world is an inspiration and cannot be understood by humans
      • Admiration for Nature
        • The tone of the poem ‘what’s more wonderful’
        • ‘their ways / prove they have kings and laws’
          • metaphor for their order, they have a human like society which is to be admired
        • Dragging their loads of bent stalks slavishly’ 
          • work hard ‘toil’ but do not complain
      • Superiority of Nature
        • ‘ A swarm flocks round to help their fellow men’
          • ants are personifies do show that they have a superior society where all are equals and help, ‘swarm’ portraying their activity
        • ‘Too fine for us to hear’
          • superior to us, we cannot understand their system because it is so much better than ours it is beyond our grasp
  • ‘Too fine for us to hear’
    • superior to us, we cannot understand their system because it is so much better than ours it is beyond our grasp

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