Solitude by chenboying



How still it is here in the woods. The trees
Stand motionless, as if they do not dare
To stir, lest it should break the spell. The air
Hangs quiet as spaces in a marble frieze.
Even this little brook, that runs at ease,
Whispering and gurgling in its knotted bed,
Seems but to deepen with its curling thread
Of sound the shadowy sun-pierced silences.
Sometimes a hawk screams or a woodpecker
Startles the stillness from its fixed mood
With his loud careless tap. Sometimes I hear
The dreamy white-throat from some far-off tree
Pipe slowly on the listening solitude
His five pure notes succeeding pensively.
Archibald Lampman

Interpretation #1 – Well-developed
                                                Archibald Lampman‟s poem „Solitude‟ creates
                                                an image of a beautiful, secluded place in nature.
                                                From the tone of the poem, it seems like this is a
                                                place the author is particularly fond of.
                                                Lampman uses words such as „still‟, „dreamy‟,
                                                and „pure‟ to portray an image of nature
                                                unspoiled by the presence of people. The
                                                purpose of Lampman‟s poem seems to be simply
                                                to present a vivid image of a place that is special
                                                to him, and to share the beauty of nature with
                                                others. The poem brings to mind times when the
                                                sunlight hits the leaves in such a way that they
                                                are lit with an almost magical quality. „Solitude‟
                                                also creates the idea of stillness, silence, and the
                                                beauty of simplicity. Lampman is simply
                                                creating an image within his poem, one of the
                                                graceful tranquility of nature. If there is a
                                                message to be found within this poem, it is that
                                                we must appreciate the beauty of our
                                                environment as it is, without attempting to
                                                „improve‟ it.

                                                 This painting expresses the same images as the
                                                 poem „Solitude‟, especially the idea of „shadowy
                                                 sun-pierced silences‟. The painting also has the
same dreamy, ethereal quality as the forest described in the poem. Although this painting does not
contain any water, it successfully captures the mood and picture of a still, beautiful forest.
Interpretation #2 – Requires further development
The poet is describing one of Canada‟s landscapes. The landscape is of the woods probably up
North because of the quietness that is constantly described in „Solitude‟. Lampman is saying that
even though the woods are quiet there is still life and actively happening in the woods. When the
poet says “How still it is here in the woods, the trees stand motionless, as if they do not dare to
stir, lest it should break the spell” he is saying how still the forest is. The author is comparing
how the air is as loud as an architectural part of a building: “hangs quiet as spaces in a marble
frieze”. A weakness of the poem is that the author is saying that the forest is silent yet there are
noises and activity in the forest: “how still is it is here in the woods . . . sometimes a hawk
screams or a woodpecker starts the stillness from a fixed mood”. The strength is of how the poet
describes the stillness of the forest it yields a great image in your head, it seems peaceful: “even
this little brook, that runs at ease, whispering and gurgling in its knotted bed”. When the poet says
“the air hangs quiet as spaces in a marble frieze” the word frieze stands out because I didn‟t know
what it meant. The poet‟s view of Canadian landscape seems to be a peaceful, quiet and active,
beautiful place to be.

This image best represents the poem because it shows a peaceful forest and a field, also a
little brook is present all described in the poem.

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