William Wordsworth’s To a Skylark Analysis
To a Skylark Poem
Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!
To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Mount, daring warbler! -that love-prompted strain,
(Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond),
Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
Yet mightst thouseem, proud privilege! to sing
All independent of the leafy Spring.
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!
Analysis of the poem To a Skylark
The poem celebrates the unique qualities of the song bird, Skylark.In the first stanza the speaker asks the bird skylark, if he hates the earth as it is always flying in the sky. Or does he still think of home while flying high? He praises him for being able to make music even though he cannot drop into his home at will. The skylark is a daring songbird, since it flies so high into the sky.
There is a strong bond between him and his home. Birds usually live in nest and sings while perching on the nest, even though they fly in the sky they return to the nest. Unlike other singing birds, skylark spends most of the time in the sky because it sings while flying, so his home is sky. Therefore the poet says that he cannot leave his nest (sky) when he wants because he is meant to be a sky bird. The songs he sings in the sky spread throughout the plains. He sings independent of the seasons.
In the second stanza the speaker describes the flight of the skylark. it goes beyond the point of ‘vision’-it cannot be seen by the eyes. He calls the skylark “daring warbler” because it dares to go to great heights. There is a strong between the skylark and thine (means either nest or earth). This love of the skylark for his home makes his song no less pleasant on the ground as it is in the sky. Even though the skylark flies so high and sings, it never forgets his home. He calls him the might’st (mightiest) and proud privilege (a wanderer who takes pride in his wanderings). Mightiest because he sings independent of the leafy Springindependent of the seasons of earth. When in sky, he sings regardless of time. This relationship between skylark and the home shows that even though the skylark soars high it does not forget its roots.
In the third stanza the speaker tells the skylark to leavetothe place of nightingale to her dark forest. He has all the glorious light to himself. He floods the land with his divine songs. He is the kind of wise that raises high but still remains connected to his roots, remaining true to both the sky and the earth.(Beamingnotes, 2017)
Themes To a Skylark
Beauty of skylark’s behaviour, Wisdom of staying true to the roots.
To a Skylark Literary Techniques
Rhyme: Rhyme scheme ABABCC.
Imagery: visual imagery-1ststanza-a nest in a dew covered ground. In the third stanza the nightingale in a shady forest.
Personification: “bosom of the plain”.
Oxymoron:privacy of glorious light; meaning it has privacy in the open sky.