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Showing posts from October, 2006

The Blossom

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The Blossom

Merry, merry sparrow!
Under leaves so green;
A happy blossom
Sees you, swift as arrow,
Seek your cradle narrow
Near my bosom.

Pretty, pretty,-robin!
Under leaves so green,
A happy blossom
Hears you sobbing, sobbing,
Pretty, pretty robin,
Near my bosom.
(William Blake in the Songs of Innocence)


Notes:
Merry, merry sparrow: The speaker in the poem is most probably a little girl. The sparrow is proverbially a merry bird.

Swift as arrow: The simile is very appropriate, even if taken literally. But some critics see the "arrow" and its swiftness as symbolic of sex.

cradle narrow: small or tiny nest.

Nea my bosom: The bosom is symbolic of motherhood. The litle girl, who speaks, instinctively thinks of her bosom in connection with the sparrow's nest.

Sobbing, sobbing: The robin is depicted as "sobbing". There are two interpretations of this: (1) The robin is proverbially a sad bird, just as the sparrow is merry. (2) The robin is sobbing on account of exessive joy, and there i…

Rise of the English Novel (2)

End of the Seventeenth Century and Beginning of the Eighteenth Century: Novel is Assuming Shape

The novel dimly took shape by the end of seventeenth century. Aphra Behn’s “Orinooko, The Royal Slave” shows power of description, and some claim to plot, characterization and dialogue. Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s progress” (1668), though intended to be an allegory, shows a smoothly working plot, a variety of characters impressive descriptive passages, and simple, dramatic dialogue.

Daniel Defoe represents the culmination of the seventeenth century tendencies in English fiction. He emerged as a novelist with the publication of “Robinson Crusoe”. Some of his other novels are “The memoirs of a Cavalier”, “Captain Singleton”, “Moll Flandors”, “Colonel Jacob” and “Roxana”.

Novelist of the Eighteenth Century, the two prominent essayists Steele and Addison, reflected some traits of the novel in their essays which were published in “The Spectator” and “The Coverly Papers”. There is little plot in their e…