Forest Fires Poem Analysis

Forest Fires Poem Analysis

Forest Fires Poem Analysis

Summary of the Poem: Forest Fires

Forest Fires Poem Analysis: The poetess feels extremely hunger to obtain much more experiences in her life. She is not satisfied with what she has achieved by now. Her greediness to know and learn more has taken a violent form. Her curiosity to observe the nature and tendency of everything is very strong in her. She still thinks that she has left many things unobserved. Hence, she wants to observe whatever falls in her way.

Her desire to experience the nature of everything is like a wild fire of the forest which cannot be tamed. As the uncontrollable fire spares none and swallows everything falling in its way, in the same way the poetess wants to store the knowledge of everything.

She wants to consume everything like the wild and violent fire of the forest. When she sees a baby lying in the cradle in natural state, she observes it carefully. Its innocent feelings fascinate her. The lovers sitting behind a tree enjoy and share their crazy feelings. The serenity of nature imparts them a kind of pleasure. They try to hide themselves from this orthodox society. The poetess observes their inner feelings.

The old men reading the newspaper sitting on a bench also imparts her many things which are related to the society. Her eyes exploit the old man. All these sights are present before her in lively form. She desires to share her experiences among the people and readers through her poetry. She wants to express her thoughts in her poems. She wishes to introduce the people with the reality of this society and practical world. Her observation about the child, lovers and the old man has a great essence of this conservative society.

The poetess has observed many sights and she has derived a lot from them. She has felt the smells of many things and she has heard many voices. All these things always remain with her and she can judge easily the nature and tendency of anything. She has the feelings of that sucking babe who sits and lies in the cradle and passes smile. In spite of being toothless, its smile is sweet and fascinating. She has observed the activities and feelings of the lovers who sit behind the tree in order to hide themselves from the eyes of people and for fear of society. She has seen them wandering in the lap of nature hand in hand being carefree. She has observed the old man sitting on a bench and reading the newspaper. She depicts another community of prostitutes and cabaret-girls.

At night in the dim light of the street lamp, the prostitutes are seen either in the brothels or standing by the road-side for their customers. The cabaret girls start dancing to entertain their customers. Wedding occasions are celebrated with drums. The eunuchs wearing the ladies’ skirts dance and sing songs. Joyous and woeful songs are sung. The poetess has felt the grief of an affectionate mother, who, at her death bed, remembers her son and waits him eagerly, but her son, leaving her alone, has gone to other city. He enjoys cither in the arms of his beloved or his wife. His supportless mother’s eyes are still gazing him with great hope.

Critical Appreciation of the Poem:

Introduction:

The poem entitled Forest-Fire shows the poetess’ extreme greediness and hunger for making a great store of experiences and knowledge by the close observation of the worldly and social activities. She desires to absorb everything which falls in her way. She wants to analyse human nature and its tendency. She is not satisfied with what she has obtained. Her intense greed is like a wild and violent fire of the forest which spares none and swallows whatever comes in its way. In the present poem, she closely observes the social aspects. She thinks of the child, the lovers, the old man, the prostitutes and the cabaret-dancers. She presents heart-rending condition of supportless mother whose son leaves her alone.

Thought-Content:

The poetess’ greediness to know and learn more has taken a violent form. Her curiosity to observe the nature and tendency of everything is very strong in her. Her desire to experience the nature of everything is like a wild fire of the forest which cannot be tamed. When she sees a baby lying in the cradle in natural state, the lovers behind the tree and the old man reading the newspaper, she observes their activities carefully. Her eyes exploit them thoroughly. She depicts another community of prostitutes and cabaret-girls. She describes the wedding occasions which are celebrated with drums. The eunuchs wearing the ladies’ skirts dance and sing songs. Joyous and woeful songs are sung. The poetess has felt the grief of an affectionate mother who, at her death bed, remembers her son.

Theme and Moral of the Poem:

In the poem, the poetess has observed many social aspects which are the greatest obstacles in the way of human beings. The orthodox society has established some strict rules and nobody is allowed to go against those rules. The society does not care the emotions. For instance the poetess describes the sight of the lovers who sit behind the tree for fear of people and society. Our society is male dominated, hence the women are badly treated. They are made the subject of tyranny and exploitation. Prostitutes and cabaret-girls are also the victim of this male dominated society. Men are responsible for the pathetic condition of women.

Heart-Rending Depiction:

The poetess has seen the intense grief of the affectionate mother who brings up her child under well nourishment and care, her child, after being matured, leaves her supportless and alone. He does not care the sentiments of his affectionate mother. He does not like to live with his mother and goes away to another place. He seeks peace, consolation and love either in the lap of his beloved or his wife. The fond mother, at the last moments of her life, eagerly waits her son’s arrival and her eyes are staring the doors of the house.

Style and Language:

The poetess has used the beautiful imagery of the forest fire. She has compared her greediness with the violent form of the fire of the forest. There is great simplicity of language. The words used in the poem are simple and expressive. She has used the figure of speech simile:

“To take in with greed, like a forest-fire.” 

“My eyes lick at you like flames.” 

 Read it also: Awake Poem by Sarojini Naidu

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