Written at the Close of Spring by Charlotte Smith

Written at the Close of Spring by Charlotte Smith


"Written at the Close of Spring" by Charlotte Smith in 1921. Drawing on the rich pastoral tradition Charlotte Smith here visualizes a scene that captures the moment of vision through the eyes of an observer whose analysis encompasses both the physical world and the implications that the view suggests by what it presents to the viewer. It is important to take note of the circumstance in which the poem came to written, and the ideas that smith considers to be part of the vision that unfolds before the observer. In a note to the poem, Charlotte Smith explain the context an occasion of the poem thus: " Suggested by the recollection of having seen, some years since, on a beautiful evening of Summer, an engagement between two armed ships, from the high down called the Beacon Hills, near Brighthelmstone". The experience of seeing the sea view from a distance where the contest between two ships are on display, that experience is transformed here into a personality visualized situation, but even though the metaphors and the vocabulary suggest a perspective emerging from a traditional order, the contemporaneity of it all is very well evident here. Charlotte Smith is able to bring in the horror of devastation caused by human beings, not because of some essential need, but because of the need to overplay aggression that is showcased in a natural space. The sea is not ordinarily the site of a contest between opposing parties, it is not the conventional better field, but there is a conscious attempt on the part of Smith to conflate the two conditions of the human and the natural, so that the stark harshness of humanity is brought into sharper focus through the field of play. Human atrocity and the propensity for destruction is brought to the fore here by means of a series of contrasting images that present the difference between the serenity of nature and the dangers wrought on it by man.
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