How is the beauty of Nature presented in the poem 'The Harvest…
How is the beauty of Nature presented in the poem 'The Harvest Moon'?
In the poem The Harvest Moon, Hughes describes a paradoxical and contrasting side of the moon, that comes across as intimidating, intense and powerful.
'The flame red moon, the Harvest Moon,'
Here, the moon is compared to heat/ fire
This could be used to symbolise and emphasise the intimation, intensity and power of the moon.
'So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil,'
The personification of the elm and oak trees further highlight the power and dominance of the moon.
The moon is being compared/ described as a figure that is almost God-like and ethereal, as the big and wide trees are metaphorically and religously kneeling in respect, celebration and commemoration of the moon.
This also shows the hierarchy within Nature itself, and how the moon is above all, nature or living.
'Sweat from the melting hills.'
Prufuse sweating is a symbol of fear and anxiety - a possible reference to the popular theme of the world being represented as insignificant, in comparison to the power and authority of the moon.
Throughout the poem, the idea of an eternal and ever-lasting lifecycle is explored, its repetitive nature eludes to themes of hope, second chances and new opportunities.
'Stare up at her petrified, while she swells'
The moon can be seen as a female - 'swells', 'filling', 'ripe' all represent themes of growth, fertility and pregnancy.
This can further be linked to the cycle of life, and how the moon gives life to our world, and the beings in it.
'Sweat from the melting hills.'
this line may also be referring to the sun-rise, that is metaphorically described as melting the hills, and the vanishing of the moon.
The gradual appearance of the sun could be a symbol for the life cycle, and how its repetition provides comfort and protection. - provides new chances, new opportunities and hope with the new coming day.
'Closer and closer like the end of the world'
Here, Hughes, falsely suggests that this is the end of the poem,
However, we see a continuation in the poem, thus indicating that the moon's power and authority still remains, almost as if it were an ever-lasting, eternal cycle.
that this poem ends with a dominating and athoritarian image of the moon expanding and taking control of the sky.
In the first stanza of the poem, Hughes uses personification to illustrate a more playful, unrestricted and child-like quality of the moon.
'Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,'
personification used conveys a child-like and playful quality that is given to the moon, showing the unrestricted and free nature of the moon
The oxymoron used in this line (gently bouncing), presents the moon as uncontrollable/ unexpected and unique, much like an oxymoron.
It also suggests that the moon is not easily controlled, further highlighting the unrestrictions, power and dominance of the moon.
'A vast balloon,'
Balloons often symbolise freedom and release, thus the comparison could be suggestive of the moon being unrestricted and free.
Here, the poet is metaphorically comparing the balloon to the moon,.
Furthermore, the inclusion of the adjective 'vast' could be used to highlight the unrestriction and uncontrollablity of the moon
The ever-lasting enjambment used in these lines further convey the themes of unrestriction and freedom.
'Till it takes off, and sinks upward'
Hughes continues to make a link between the balloon and the moon
Balloons are frequently released and let-go into the sky, further conveying the theme of freedom and unrestriction