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“You should be here, Nature has need of you.”. Report to Wordsworth. Boey Kim Cheng. Background. Boey Kim Cheng was born in Singapore in 1965. He now lives and works in Australia. This poem has echoes of several sonnets by Wordsworth.

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Report to Wordsworth


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Presentation Transcript
background
Background
  • Boey Kim Cheng was born in Singapore in 1965. He now lives and works in Australia. This poem has echoes of several sonnets by Wordsworth.
  • Worsdworth often celebrates the beauty and spiritual values of the natural world in his poetry, contrasting Nature with the world of materialism. He suggests that because we are insensitive to the richness of Nature, we may be forfeiting our souls.
the world is too much with us
The world is too much with us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;Little we see in Nature that is ours;We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,The winds that will be howling at all hours,And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

william wordsworth
William Wordsworth

It moves us not—Great God! I'd rather beA Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

wordsworth s poem
Wordsworth’s Poem
  • Statement about conflict between nature and humanity.
  • Wordsworth longs for a much simpler time when the progress of humanity was tempered by the restrictions nature imposed.
  • Humanity has become self-absorbed and can no longer think clearly.
  • Wordsworth seems to be able to foresee the inevitable. He sees himself as one with the environment.
  • The destruction of the environment by mankind's shortsightedness will continue.
subject
Subject
  • Cheng’s poem focuses on the same issues that Wordsworth was concerned with: that of Man’s destruction of Nature. However, Cheng’s poem comments on issues prevalent in our modern day society.
  • Highlight the concerns in the poem.
slide7
Tone
  • Cheng dedicates his poem to Wordsworth in the opening line. What effect does this create?
  • What is the mood of the poem?
imagery
Imagery

Compare

“So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”

To

“All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea

have sunk; he is entombed in the waste

We dump. Triton’s notes struggle to be free,

his famous horns are choked, his eyes are dazed”

imagery9
Imagery
  • Consider the phrase ‘poetry and piety’. What do the two words mean to separately and together? Do you think the two words go together?
  • Refer also to Clarke’s poem ‘Lament’ which ends with the lament to the ‘ashes of language’. Are they saying similar things or are they different?
  • What might be meant by the phrase ‘wound widening’?
  • What is the effect of the final two lines?
slide10
Form
  • While Wordsworth used the Petrarchan (or Italian) form of the sonnet (like Keats – ‘On the Grasshopper and the Cricket’) Boey prefers here to use the Shakespearian (or English) form with the final rhyming couplet.
feeling
Feeling
  • Is the poem just a clever interpretation of another famous poet’s work, or is it powerful in its own right?
  • Explain your views.