Thursday, October 13, 2011

10/13/2011 09:41:00 PM - , No comments

Magic of Words - The Poplar Field


William Cowper gave up his public career for a life of retirement in rural area and exclusively, devoted his later life in writing poetry. His love towards nature in rural life is also visible in the poem “The Poplar Field”, which is remarkable for his celebration for the rural and nostalgic tone.

The poem is a result of the poet’s second visit to the same landscape, which he had visited 12 years ago. It was the bank of river Ouse, which was filled with tall poplar trees. It provided shade to the poet. There used to blow cool breeze and the melodious song of black birds which had entertained the poet. But now the trees are cut and are fallen on the ground. It cannot provide shade to anyone nor there is cool breeze blowing. The black birds have flown away in search of new shelter and therefore, the poet cannot listen to their sweet songs anymore. By looking this degraded situation of the same landscape, the poet becomes very sad.

The poet thinks that limited years of his life are passing away very quickly. Very soon he will be dead and buried in a grave. But he regrets that he will not be able to see such poplar trees on the bank of the river Ouse again in his life. He not only regrets for himself but the pathetic one of nature also draws his attention towards the “Perishing Pleasure” of human. Life is very short and one must try to fill with joy and pleasure. But their bad luck is their joy and pleasure last for shorter time and for this they themselves are responsible.


The poet strongly protests the sinful deeds against the natural resources in the poem. Basically, deforestation is really the great challenge in the world to sustain ecological balance. The poet sentimentally recalls that the cutting down poplar trees cause the adverse impact in human life.

The poem is all about deforestation and destruction of the poplar fields in the bank of the Ouse River in England. That shows that human civilization is the curse for the protection of natural resources. The result of cutting down of the poplar trees, as poet recalls, the shade and the whispering sound of the row of trees are disappeared. The winds no longer play with the leaves of the trees and no reflection of the trees in the river water is seen. He says that he has missed everything in his twelve years of running life. He recalls that it was his favorite place to stay which gave him shade; but regrets that they are laid.

The poet has deep-rooted sympathy upon other creatures in the trees such as blackbird that gets relieve from the hazel in the heat. As the trees are cut, the blackbird has fled to another shelter. Likewise their melodious chirping tone and sweet booming (echoing) song that charmed the poet most has also be gone.

The poet again laments (regrets) that his fleeing (running) years are all in hurry that he couldn’t understand the value of trees and environment in his life. Now he is more conscious about the value of trees and says that he’ll soon die like the trees and the grass will grow on his chest and stone at his head in his grave and says that other trees will arise in that place.

The poet finally says that the trees in the bank is the sight to engage him and considers that human pleasures and ecstasies are decaying. He states that we’re short-lived like the poplar trees but our enjoyments and happiness are less durable than our own lives.