How does the themes of nature and human nature interweave in the poems Catrin and Vultures from the anthology?The poem Vultures which was set in 1971 and written by Chinua Achebe is a poem that talks about human nature and nature, the poem talks about vultures and humans while contrasting them together. The poem talks about the father who is the commandant at Belsen concentration camp who goes home to his loving children. The poem Catrin by Gillian Clarke is about a relationship between the mother Gillian and her daughter Catri and was set during the birth of Catrin, so the poem would be set around 1937 since that was the time when Catrin was bornThe context of the setting in the poem Vultures starts off as a cloudy, unhappy and gloomy. This is because the poem uses the verse “In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent dawn unstirred by harbingers”.
which shows alliteration and highlights the fact that the morning is unwelcoming and isolated. Another part of the poem is the Commandant and his deeds which is shown when the author says “…Thus the Commandant at Belsen Camp going home for the day”. This quote taken from the poem shows that the commandant from the Belsen Camp who is also a father to his children, does evil actions for working at a concentration camp are justified since his offspring are waiting at home for their father’s return.
Overall this shows acts of both human nature and nature because the father sees his acts as normal and loving even with all the bad deed the father has done, this shows that a truly evil man can still show and feel love and affections to his family which basically shows us that love can perpetrate evil. The poem Catrin starts off at a hospital ward or more exact a labor ward since the first five stanza talks about the setting and how the mother Gillian can remember her and her daughter Catrin’s monumental experience, “I can remember you, child, As I stood in a hot, white room at the window watching The people taking turns at the traffic light”. Overall the poem on Catrin is quite a personal poem because the poem’s structure is structured as a free-verse that talks about the author’s relationship with her child, Catrin. The author also uses first person in this poem which shows that the poem is quite personal.
it is also there to show parental conflict and complex relationship conflict. The poem Vultures has four paragraphs in total, the first paragraph starts with a graphic description on the vultures and the environment they’re in. The second paragraph talks about the vultures love for each other. The third paragraph talks about the commandant at Belsen and the fourth paragraph talks about love and evil.
The first paragraph which talks about the graphic description of the vultures uses the letter ‘d’ to make a sad and negative feeling which helps with creating environment they’re in, for example drizzle, dawn and despondent which are words that start with the letter ‘d’. This is because vultures are quite cruel animals that stalk their prey and eat the dead. The diction “despondent” also sets a negative view because it means, in low spirits from loss of hope or courage.
As well as the word “harbingers” which means things which warns of what to come. The author talks about how cruel vultures are and how they act. For example in the 8th stanza in the first verse the author says “…mate his smooth bashed-in head a pebble on a stem rooted in a dump of gross feathers”. The word “stem rooted” is a juxtaposition which talks about the neck of the bird and the “dump of gross feathers” is the body of the bird.
But the stanza also talks about the metaphor of death and horror and the branch that their sitting on is described as “broken bones”. The third paragraph talks about the commandant at belsen which is a concentration camp, we know this because the verse uses words and phrases such as “charnel-house” which means a building where dead bodies and bones are disposed. The paragraph also talks about the commandant being a kind, loving father who goes home to see his young soft children this is shown when the poet says “..
.for his tender offspring waiting at home for daddy’s return…”. The last paragraph in the poem is about love and evil. The poet talks about how when ever there’s darkness they will always also be light, the poet includes metaphors like “in icy caverns of a cruel heart or else despair for in the very germ” this means that a heart of an ogre will always be cruel, there is also contrast in this metaphor which is germ which equals to love. Overall the author is trying to push the messages through that love and evil will always exist together.
This shows that in nature love and evil will always exist together as a whole no matter what.The poem Catrin has two paragraphs in total. The first paragraph is during the childbirth and the second paragraph is a couple of years after the birth of the daughter named Catrin. The first few stanzas in the first paragraph starts off with the setting which is the hot, white hospital room or to be more exact the labour ward inside the hospital. The phrase “I can remember you,” which is repeated twice signifies that it’s a monumental experience in Gillian Clarke’s life time to give birth to her daughter Catrin.
Another monumental experience in Gillian’s life would be the connectivity by the umbilical cord which also evokes a sense of passion in both the mother and the child, this experience is shown when the author says “our fierce confrontation, the tight red rope of love which we both fought over”. In the same paragraph there is also contrast for example the phrase “wild, tender circles” this is shown as contrast because of the word wild and tender are placed together which creates an oxymorons, since there’s brutality and wildness are shown when giving birth but there’s also tender love involved. Another oxymoron is shown on the second paragraph when the author talks about her daughters “rosey, defiant glare” which shows that her daughter is a strong spirited girl. The second last and last stanza which is “As you ask may you skate in the dark, for one more hour” probably means that the child wants to act and be independent but the mother finds this rebellious act quite dangerous, this shows nature and human nature since animals such as humans and other mammals would care for their young.To conclude this essay has summarised most parts of the poem and their effects, both poems Catrin by Gillian Clark and Vultures by Chinua Achebe both have reoccurring themes of nature and human nature.
Such as how human and their nature act towards their children and young. And how they communicate and act between one and other. So overall both themes of nature and human nature interviews with both poems quite well.