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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

RETURN TO THE BIRDS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"Return to the Birds" is a poem by Louis Untermeyer, an American poet, anthologist, and literary critic who lived from 1885 to 1977. The poem reflects on the themes of nature, freedom, and the human desire for transcendence.

Context:

The poem was written during the early part of the 20th century, a period of profound social, cultural, and political change in the United States and around the world. The poem reflects on the ways in which individuals can find solace and meaning in the natural world, and the importance of reconnecting with the rhythms of nature in order to achieve a sense of inner peace and harmony.

Content:

The poem is a meditation on the relationship between humans and the natural world, and the ways in which the beauty and freedom of the birds can inspire and uplift the human spirit. The poem reflects on the power of nature to heal and restore, and the ways in which the human desire for transcendence can be fulfilled by reconnecting with the rhythms of the natural world.

Form:

The poem is written in free verse, with no regular rhyme or meter. The poem's form contributes to its sense of naturalness and organic flow, reflecting the complexity and richness of the theme.

Poetic Elements:

The poem makes use of a range of poetic techniques and devices, including metaphor, imagery, and repetition. For example, the use of the metaphor of the birds emphasizes the spiritual and emotional journey that lies at the heart of the poem, while the repetition of certain phrases and images creates a sense of rhythm and musicality.

Summary:

Overall, "Return to the Birds" is a powerful and evocative poem that celebrates the beauty and freedom of the natural world, and encourages the reader to reconnect with the rhythms of nature in order to find inner peace and harmony. Untermeyer's use of poetic techniques and devices creates a sense of richness and depth, reflecting the complexity and significance of the theme. The poem remains a valuable contribution to the canon of American literature and provides insight into the ways in which individuals can find solace and meaning in the natural world.

Poem Excerpt:

"Return to the birds,

To the high, free winds and the morning light,

To the surge and sweep of the wings that bear you

Through the limitless reaches of space and sky.

For they know the secret of joy and beauty,

And they fly where the spirit would fain abide,

Above the grip of earth and the limits of time,

In the realm of the eternal and the divine."


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