Description of the farm and what lies around the author. Lightening is unpredictable and usually perceived as dangerous, however in this case it has been tamed. This opposition gives a strength to the image and depicts the straws as some kind of a miracle: The contradictions make a peculiar atmosphere and make any kind of understanding difficult.
Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass And hang zigzag on hedges. Green as glass The water in the horse-trough shines. Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight lines. A hen stares at nothing with one eye, Then picks it up.
Out of an empty sky A swallow falls and, flickering through The barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue. I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass, Afraid of where a thought might take me—as This grasshopper with plated face Unfolds his legs and finds himself in space.
MacCaig structures the poem and uses language features within it in such a way as to emphasize the fact that a philosophical breakthrough can be derived from what many people would think of as unremarkable things and events. The literary devices used in the poem are well suited to showing that even the most commonplace happenings and things can appear to be ordinary and not worth noting, much less delving into, but implies that if we contemplate them even momentarily we can make the leap from their seemingly simple and banal meaninglessness to their true, almost mystical meaningfulness.
Flower in a crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies. I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower, but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.
William Blake does not stoop to pining for such an experience.
In his words To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour he not only implies that he has himself already undergone such a theophany-like moment but magisterially expects us to experience the jolt of the recognition longed for by Tennyson simply by reading the assertion that it is possible to comprehend a huge truth by the realization that even the smallest part of creation has within it the whole meaning of the whole of creation.
In other words, the utter fact of a giraffe implies total enlightenment but is in fact so bafflingly complex as to preclude revelation. All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six [sic] atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring.
If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of haemoglobin. Dillard, The next idea following the ones alluded to by Tennyson, Blake and Dillard—that all things are in some sense not only equivalent to each other but are each one a manifestation of one ultimate reality, indeed are all each and every one that ultimate reality, is often expressed in Oriental thought, here by Rippo: Thus, the white of the blossom would make it radically equivalent to the loveliness of the white of snow.
The blossom would equal snow, and thus fresh beginnings—spring and the springing of life—would be equivalent to endings—winter and death. The dark tree has lost All its leaves; in its limbs, see!
Issa puts it this way: The world of dew Is the world of dew. In fact, to try to separate the particular from the whole is an act against the realization that this Enlightenment entails, that every specific thing is capable of showing us the equivalency of each separate thing and the Whole because each separate entity can reveal this doctrine of the Enlightenment: As I picked it up To cage it, the firefly Lit my fingers.
Of course lightning is not tame, but this lightning is since it is only dead grass. This specific type of paradox, the combination of two words that seem not to fit together indeed seem to contradict each other until you realize that in this single instance the combination is just right, is called oxymoron.
They are also similar in that they are each the end product of natural processes: The first image, therefore, is a strong indication that the key to working out the meaning and method of this poem is to keep looking further and further into the elements of each image until all the hidden meanings are noticed and until we see the cosmic connection between even the smallest things such as straws and Zs and the largest or most powerful things such as lightning and enlightenment.
The second image invites us to look in as well. Not all water is transparent, especially not all green water.
Jan 27, · Poetry Revision with Mr Brooker This video should be used for revision to stimulate your own personal response to the poem. The poem is found in the IGCSE Po. May 19, · ‘Summer Farm’ firstly focuses on the detail of the farm before exploring a metaphysical world. Norman MacCaig ( – ) was a poet from Edinburgh, Scotland. He also spent. Summer Farm by Norman MacCaig. 1) The poet uses a simile to compare the dried grass lying around the farm to lightning that has been tamed. 2) He uses vivid visual imagery to give the reader a picture of how the straw lies around the farm and on the hedges.
But MacCaig goes out of his way to hint that this water is transparent: Before MacCaig leaves the first stanza of his poem and moves onto the second, he makes a point of using another example of the type of figure of speech which is itself something like a symbol of the whole point of the poem, a paradox: But the truth seems to be that even where there seem to be contradictions in experience in the universethe reality is that there is no contradiction.
This is an example of enjambment. It might be stretching the point to say that this is another example of paradox a sentence that is broken—by the space at the end of line one and not broken because it does just carry one perfectly clearly in line 2but the run-on line is at least worth remarking on.
The second stanza also begins with a paradox. At first it seems that it is impossible that the hen could be looking at nothing and then peck it up into her beak.
But of course we realize that what the poet means is that we should grasp that what seemed to him to be nothing was in fact something perhaps a very small grain of corn that he could not see because he had not looked as closely as the hen did: Or to the Zen doctrine of shunyata?
Another two paradoxes follow immediately in the very next sentence. This example of pathetic fallacy might also be considered an example of paradox, since for a moment the reader thinks that the poet is saying that the sky is dizzy an impossibility but then suddenly realizes that the poet is merely displacing his own dizziness onto the sky because it was when the poet looked up suddenly to follow the path of the swooping swallow that he felt the dizziness.
This is a deliberate poke of fun at himself and at us since it shows us, through a common literary device pathetic fallacy that precisely because we deliberately allow our own viewpoint to confuse our sense of perceptions we sometimes fail to see into reality as it is.
This confusion of the properties of two separate realities is the exact opposite of the kind of realization of their unity which the poem is moving towards.In Norman MacCaig’s “Summer Farm” the person in the poem reveals the discoveries that occur to him in the course of seemingly trivial experiences one summer’s day on a farm.
MacCaig structures the poem and uses language features within it in such a way as to emphasize the fact that a philosophical breakthrough can be derived from what.
May 19, · ‘Summer Farm’ firstly focuses on the detail of the farm before exploring a metaphysical world. Norman MacCaig ( – ) was a poet from Edinburgh, Scotland. He also spent. Summer Farm by Norman MacCaig The Poem - A Summary The poem is divided into four quatrains and has the regular rhyme scheme of AABB CCDD EEFF GGHH.
Summer Farm by Norman Maccaig. Posted on 29/10/ by Pat. Read the poem. Summer Farm Maccaig’s philosophical conclusion seems to be subjective – all we can be certain about is the “now” the things we see, the feelings we feel, at this precise moment in time.
There may well be an “I” that existed a second ago, in the same. Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass / And hang zigzag on hedges.
Green as glass / The water in the horse-trough shines. / Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight. Norman Alexander MacCaig FRSE FRSL ARSA DLitt OBE (14 November – 23 January ) was a Scottish poet and teacher.
His poetry, in modern English, is known for its humour, simplicity of language and great popularity.