Earth and Rain, the Plants Term Paper

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Again, the poet emphasizes the loss of vision which accompanies man's advancement into modernity. With every step of civilization, man distances himself from the origins of things and from the truth. Civilization, in its negative aspects, is thus perceived as a destructive force which menaces the overall balance of the world. Like the previous poem, Vision Shadows deplores the state of nature in the modern world. The sky, the mountains, the wind and all the natural elements seem to lay dormant, in an utter dullness. The state described is certainly one from which all inspiration has fled. This poem seems to delineate the main theme even better than the other one. Thus, the images are constructed around the central symbol of the eagle, a bird which is has an enormous significance inside the Native American tradition. The eagle obviously symbolizes the ability of the spirit to soar above the commonality and dullness of ordinary life and thus to get a panoramic view of the whole.

Moreover, the title of the poem hints at the same central theme: the blurring or shadowing of vision and perceptive power in the contemporary world. The stillness of the wind and the hint at the eagle's impaired flight is symbolic of the modern world's plunge into absolute dullness: "Poisonous fumes cross our sacred paths. / the wind is still. / O Blue Sky, O Mountain, O Spirit, O / what has stopped? / Eagles tumble dumbly into shadows / that swallow them with dull thuds."(Baym, 1270) the modern man is unable to revive his spiritual sources and regain his original vision of the world. The visions have a special significance in the Native American tradition, as they represent the connection with the higher forms of existence.

Furthermore, the allusions to suffocation, loneliness and dryness bring to light other important characteristics of the modern world.
The contemporary scene offers no place for breathing and no solace for the utter feeling of alienation which is now the only thing that animates the whole: "The sage can't breathe. / Jackrabbit is lonely and alone / with eagle gone. / it is painful, aiiee, without visions / to soothe dry whimpers / or repair the flight of eagle, our own brother."(Baym, 1270) the tragic vision of the poet transmits a bitter message about the modern, empty world in which all things have become abstracted and individuated from the great whole.

The two poems of Simon Ortiz that were analyzed here are thus built on the same theme: the alienation caused by modernity. The theme is a central preoccupation of the Native American writers, who feel that their traditions which come from the old world may be the only way to save the modern man from in his way to perdition. Ortiz' poems thus deplore the destructive power of man's development. Civilization is not necessarily an entirely positive aspect of the modern times, precisely because it functions as a great alienating factor. Not accidentally thus, Ortiz compares the modern technological development of society as a poisonous illusion, which hides nature and the true state of things from man's view. The sense of impaired vision and of loss thus pervades these two texts. The animal world and the great spirit of nature bend under the weight of civilization, which encloses man in a narrow circle. Through his work, Ortiz tries to divert the modern man's attention to the essential aspects of life and to natural state to which he rightfully belongs. Civilization is thus seen as something artificial and alienating, and the return to nature and to the origins is the only possible salvation.

Works Cited

Baym, Nina et all......

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