"An idea no longer shrouded in mist, through wave or ether comes to me, like a star from high up in the skies, or a pearl from the bottom of the sea." - Victor Hugo (Les rayons et les ombres)
Though Lawrence seem to be high in applying poetic license, to speak for the bird rather than himself, i guess there is lot of truth in this -- God did not give a life to whimper in self pity -- i feel so, Good post Gwilym -- when there's too much troubles going on, it's good to read positive notes, wishes, devika
but think about it, writers/poets most often do that in their poetry/writings -- may be the cathartic process -- may be the vital purging for the creative mind, that needs to be fresh, wishes, devika
Lawrence writes here of a sudden death. A heart -stopping end to a wild life. A quick and merciful end.There is real suffering in the end of many wild lives. Living where I do, I have found dying birds and animals on many occasions. They do suffer. That brings us to the difficulty of understanding conscious thought in animals. They appear to live very much in the moment, so self pity is probably a concept that cannot be applied to them. They suffer, in the moment.This short poem was written in the year before Lawrence died. He was ill and knew all about suffering. I wonder if he longed for his own heart- stopping moment when his pain and weakness would end, envying the lack if introspection that animals seem to have?
Thanks Devika and Warbler for these interesting thoughts. I wonder though about some wild animals like elephants for instance and what they really 'think' and 'feel'. I recall for instance that a 4 year old elephant in a zoo killed its keeper about 2 or 3 weeks after the sudden death of the herd's elephant matriach. Perhaps the dead elephant was removed too abruptly from the compound before the elephants had got over the shock or had a suitable period of 'mourning', I remember thinking at the time.
It is interesting to think about...they definitely should be having feelings, if not thoughts --Look at their eyes, we come to know when they suffer -- but if they cry in self pity or it is real pain (bodily or otherwise) - i don't know...i too think about that,as regards elephants -- we know they get wild and go on rampage for known and unknown reasons -- again, about mourning i don't known...have seens crows and ants gathering and mourning their dead --it is worth thinking about whether like human beings they think or talk about their or others' death during the course of life -- something i detest as a human 'quality' -- but then we are quite attuned to such thoughts -- whether in war or in love, death is like a side line, wishes, devika
Devika, There's an interesting account in George Orwell's autobiographical book 'Burmese Days' about how, when he was the local policeman, he was called upon to shoot an elephant that had earlier killed two people. It was the only thing that Orwell regretted having done in his life. The memory of the magnitude of the deed, I think, must have haunted him. Clearly Orwell did not think of the elephant as a mere 'beast'. He saw something beyond. And yes, like you, I have also seen in many times in animals' eyes what I can only describe as strong emotions. Best wishes,Gwilym
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