Report to Wordsworth - English Language and Literature
Report to Wordsworth Boey Kim Cheng By B.J. McArthur, A.J. McFarlane and S.H. Patel You should be here, Nature has need of you. She has been laid waste. Smothered by smog, the flowers are mute, and the birds are few
in a sky slowly like a dying clock. All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea have sunk; he is entombed in the waste we dump. Tritons notes struggle to be free, his famous horns are choked, his eyes are dazed, and Neptune lies helpless as a beached whale, while insatiate man moves in for the kill. Poetry and piety have begun to fail,
as Natures might heart is lying still. O see the wound widening in the sky, God is labouring to utter his last cry. Background on the author - Born in Singapore - Moved to Sydney - Boey Kim Cheng was influenced by T.S. Elliot,
Keats and Wordsworth. ANALYSIS OF THE POEM Significance of title Report to Wordsworth - What significance does the title serve? - Literal meaning
- Who or what is Wordsworth? You should be here Wordsworth Appealing to reader Nature has need of you Something is wrong
It is possible to fix Laid Waste Completely ravaged Destroyed No mercy Smothered, mute
Silent Unable to protest Smothered by the smog Sibilance (and sky slowing) Contrast with flowers Choking
Dying clock, slowing The process is slow and painful It happens over a long time All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea have sunk Hope of redemption sinking Getting further and further away
Proteus Able to tell future (knows what will probably happen) Only answer to someone capable of capturing him Entombed in the waste we dump
Our rubbish is sealing the fate of our oceans Smothered, dying, choked, kill, last cry, entombed Death Emphasises weight of issue Tritons notes struggle to be free
Son of Poseidon Conch shell could calm or raise waves Therefore control of storms/oceans Beached whale Helpless At mercy of people Im beached
as, bro insatiate man moves in for the kill impossible to satisfy Not content with beaching, must kill it Poetry and piety have begun to fail Culture has no impact on people
Still hope Natures mighty heart is lying still Incredibly powerful Killed by man Wound widening in the sky Ozone layer
Not completely destroyed God labouring to utter his last cry Religion Crucifixion Hope yet Greek and Roman Mythology Allusions
- Who are they? - What purpose do they serve in this poem? Prote us Trito n
Neptu ne REFERENCES TO OTHER POEMS William Wordsworth
London 1802 Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour; England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart; Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
Comparison of Cheng and Wordsworth Report to Wordsworth - You should be here London 1802 - Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour
- England have need of thee - Nature has need of you - insatiate man moves in for - We are selfish men the kill - Natures might heart is lying - thy heart did lay still The world is too much with us
The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. Comparison of Cheng and Wordsworth
Report to Wordsworth - She has been laid waste - Nature has need of you - flowers are mute - Tritons notes struggle to be free - All hopes of Proteus - his famous horns are
choked The World is too much with us - we lay waste our powers - Little we see in Nature that is ours - sleeping flowers - out of tune
- sight of Proteus - old Triton blow his wreathed horn Comparison of Cheng and Wordsworth Report to Wordsworth - Nature has need of you - smothered in smog
- O see the wound in the sky Composed upon Westminster Bridge - Earth has not anything to show more fair - smokeless air
- A sight so touching in its majesty Comparison of Chengs other poem Report to Wordsworth The Planners
- O see the wound widening in the sky - "they build and will not stop even the sea draws back and the skies surrender - They erase the flaws
- Poetry and piety have begun to fail - Cheng expresses that man has changed his values from hundreds of years ago, and are destroying Nature.
- Cheng expresses that, in Singapore particularly, planners are concerned with supersizing-cities, at any cost to the environment. Themes
Importance of respecting Nature. Callousness of man. Mans growing materialism and the change in his values. Mans destruction of nature and the world. The changing world. Possible Exam Questions
1 Analyse the importance of the classical allusions in Report to Wordsworth. 2 Discuss the cynicism portrayed in the poem Report to Wordsworth. 3 Explore the ways in which Cheng conveys the impurity of the modern world in the poem
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