Contrasting Poets Lawrence And Shapiro In Their

Views Of Nature Essay, Research Paper Contrasting Poets Lawrence and Shapiro in Their Views of Nature Julie Gibson Throughout the history of literature, poetic views of nature has evolved

Views Of Nature Essay, Research Paper

Contrasting Poets Lawrence and Shapiro in Their Views of Nature

Julie Gibson

Throughout the history of literature, poetic views of nature has evolved

through time. One of the most differing eras is the twentieth century. With it’s

non-classical views, the twentieth century is one of the most influential eras.

While the Victorian era practiced traditional values, the twentieth century

influences techniques of love and the loss of the beauty in nature. Poets of the

same century have multiple views, many differing. Two major twentieth century

poets are D.H. Lawrence and Karl Shapiro. D.H. Lawrence loves and is in touch

with nature, while Karl Shapiro cares more of war and satires of government, not

giving much thought to nature. Even though both poets share and differ in views,

both are twentieth century poets.

The twentieth century lasted from 1900-1939. It began at the dawn of the

new century and in England, is set by the death of Queen Victoria. Reading

attracted a large audience because of the tremendous growth in education

opportunities (Granner, 616). One major downfall and factor of the twentieth

century was World War I. This was had pulled up new roots that were “buried in

the past,” causing multiple conflicts between nations (Granner, 611). The war

reflects the bitterness and troubles put on twentieth century poetry. The poets

wrote of science fiction, anti-war protagonists, and ridicule of authority.

Leading poets in the twentieth century are D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Joseph

Conrad, Dylan Thomas, and H.G. Wells.

D.H. Lawrence views on nature are more humanistic, rather than natural.

He loves individuality and “inner self” (Magill, 1686). His writing were pure

because of his adolescent puritan environment (Becker, 5). D.H. Lawrence,

although in the twentieth century, is a die-hard romantic (Albright, 1). To

Lawrence, nature was an item of beauty and creativity. He respects nature. In

Lawrence’s poem, “The Sea,” he humanizes the sea. He states that the sea is

“celebate and single,” referring to a person. He treats this part of nature as

if it is a real person. He does his with great passion showing his love for

nature. He goes further stating, “Sea only you are free, sophisticated.” Here

again one views the humanistic views upon nature. Nature to Lawrence is an

individual, trying to survive in this world of chaos. He refers to the sea as

being a perfect individual. Throughout this poem, Lawrence constantly refers to

nature as humanistic, much unlike most twentieth century poetry. He has the

passion and love that most poets of that century do not.

Karl Shapiro is another leading poet amongst the twentieth century.

Shapiro was in World War II and, much like Ernest Hemingway, wrote primarily of

war. His poems of war “disclose the ugliness of wartime world that has replaced

the merely tawdry cheapness of prewar America. But, the naturally increased

bitterness resulting from the war may conceal a change not only in what the poet

sees, but in the perspective from which he sees it well” (Magill, 1680). The

only human greatness in his poetry is a greatness forced from the heart of human

darkness. Shapiro has “studied peace as if the world was flat” and “faltered at

each brilliant entity – drawn like a prize from a magician’s hat (Magill, 2542).

He was more interested in social meaning rather than nature (Stepanchev, 485).

He bean writing on the philosophy that “everything we are taught is false”

(Spears, 487). “Karl Shapiro’s poems are fresh and young and rash and live:

their hard clear outlines, their flat bold colours create a world like that of a

knowing and skilful neo-primitive painting, without any of the confusion or

profoundity of atmosphere, aerial perspectives, but notable vision and satiric

force” (Randall, 485). In one of Shapiro’s lesser known poems, “Phenomenon,” he

illustrates the illusion of war to nature. He states that the evening was

“saturated with the obscurity of night.” He depicts the wonder and mystery of

night. While Lawrence humanized nature, Shapiro is expressing his confusion and

wonder of nature. Shapiro neither likes or hates nature, he has no point of

view. He believes that it is mysterious. He goes further nd states that the sun

was “an irritated rim.” He is very melancholy and sure of nature affect of

people. He speaks as if it is more harmful than helpful. It, again, is compared

to something that is not a major factor is his life. He writes this poem as if

nature is just a pigment of life. Karl Shapiro was, indeed, a twentieth century

poet. He did not see the beauty of nature that D.H. Lawrence saw. While the

Romantics were more in touch with nature, the twentieth century cared more of

future ideas. Shapiro cared more of social issues rather than the quest for a

meaning of nature.

In conclusion, even though two poets are in the same century, they may

not have the same views and writing techniques. One major idea of conflict

within century poets is the concept of nature. Many poets are either before or

behind their own time. Karl Shapiro wrote as a twentieth century poet, while D.H.

Laurance wrote as a Romantic.

Bibliography

Albright, R.H. “A View on D.H. Lawrence’s Poetry.”

http://www.std.com/albright/l3.html. February 6, 1996.

Becker, George. D.H. Lawrence. New York : Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1980.

Granner, R.C., and Malcolm Stern. McDougal, Little Literature. Evanson, Ill:

McDougal Little and Company, 1989.

Magill, Frank. “Karl Shapiro.” Critical Survey of Poetry. Englewoods Cliffs,

N.J.: Salem Press, 1982.

Randall, Jarrel. “Karl Shapiro.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit,

Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1975.

Spears, Monroe. “Karl Shapiro.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit,

Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1975.

Stepenchev, Stephen. “Karl Shapiro.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit,

Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1975.

I. Nature in Poetry

A. Time Period – 20th Century

B. Poet’s writing techniques in the twentieth century\

1. Love

a. Nature

b. Peace

c. Beauty

2. Ridicule of Authority

3. Satire

C. Poets of the same century can have multiple views, many differing.

D.H. Lawrence loved and was in touch with nature, while Karl

Shapiro cared more of war and satires of government.

D. Even though both poets share and differ in views, both are twentieth

century poets.

II. The Twentieth Century

A. 1900-1939

1. Began with the dawn of the new century and in England, the death a

Queen Victoria.

2. Leading poets were D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Dylan

Thomas, and H.G. Wells.

B. Views

1. Science Fiction

2. Obsessed with future

3. Language change

4. Anti-war protagonists

5. Ridicule of authority

III. D.H. Lawrence

A. Views of Nature

1. Loved inner self (Magill, 1686)

2. He was known to fill the heart with peace (Magill 1686).

3. Viewed nature as humanistic.

4. His writings were pure because of his puritan adolescent

environment (Becker, 5).

5. He was thought to be homosexual (Becker, 5).

B. Examples

1. “You are celebrate and single…”

a. human imagery

b. passion

2. “Sea, only you are free, sophisticated.”

a. human imagery

b. passion

c. love and thoughtfulness of nature

C. Lawrence was in the twentieth century, but wrote as if he was in the

Romantic era. He has the passion and love that most do not.

iV. Karl Shapiro

A. Views of Nature

1. He was in WW2 and, much like Hemingway, wrote of war.

2. He wrote numerous satires.

3. His war poems “disclose the ugliness of wartime world that has

replaced the merely tawdry of prewar America.” (Magill, 1680)

4. More interested in social meaning rather than nature. (Stepanche,

485)

5. His motto is “everything we are taught is false.” (Spears, 487)

B. Example

1. “Saturated with the obscurity of night.”

a. passion

b. wonder and mystery of nature

2. “You could see the sun, and irritated rim.”

a. melancholy

b. oddness of nature

C. Karl Shapiro was, indeed, a twentieth century poet. He was not into

the beauty of nature as what the Romantics were. He cared

more for social issues.

V. Conclusion

A. In conclusion, even though two poets are in the same era, they do not

have the same views.

B. They may differ in views of nature.

C. Many poets were way ahead or behind their time. Lawrence was behind

his time.