Journal --- Anecdote of a Jar
This poem is quite an interesting one! I wonder why the speaker put the jar in Tennessee this certain place. Does Tennessee has a special meaning? Is it because that there are lots of forests in this state or else? I guess the jar in this poem should be a contrast of the nature. The jar is the symbol of art and manmade things, while the wilderness is natural and is not in any order.
In the first stanza, the jar was put in Tennessee and ¡§It made the slovenly wilderness surround that hill.¡¨ It seems to me that the jar becomes the center, the king upon that hill. It had the highest position and became the center of the hill. In the second stanza, it says ¡§The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild.¡¨ The jar made a great influence on the nature- made everything, which was out of order and wild, no longer wild. The jar had a neat appearance so that it made the whole nature have a sense of order! To me, this seems to be that nature is worse than the jar- the art and this is why ¡§the jar was round upon the ground And tall and of a port in air.¡¨ The jar ¡§tall and of a port in air¡¨ is like a king and ¡§the wilderness rose up to it, and sprawled around,¡¨ The nature yielded to the jar as if the jar is the highest king!
In the third stanza, the jar was the ruler of the nature. However, in the following three lines, it has something that it can not compete with the nature. ¡§The jar was grey and bare. It did not give of bird or bush, Like nothing else in Tennessee.¡¨ The jar is lifeless; it¡¦s not creative and it could not give of more lives. The nature can keep on its life forever, unlike the jar! This is one thing the nature above the jar. Also, the jar became a little bit odd because it was like nothing else in Tennessee. It seemed not able to fit in this place!
The whole poem is full of contrast between the jar and the wilderness, ¡§round¡¨ and ¡§slovenly¡¨; ¡§tall and of a port in air¡¨ and ¡§sprawled around¡¨; ¡§grey and bare¡¨. The rhyme of this poem is not at the end of the lines but in the lines, like ¡§round¡¨, ¡§surround¡¨, ¡§around¡¨, and ¡§ground¡¨. However, I do not quite understand what¡¦s the special meaning of the vowels around the world ¡§round¡¨.
I think the poet¡¦s attitude toward the jar remains ambivalent. He does not say that which is better, art or nature. He seems to like the order that the jar brought to the nature but, at the same time, he likes the life in the nature.
I think the relationship between nature and art is really close. Nature itself is a form of art, which is a form of irregularity. The art works made by human beings has a special term and may all follow a certain rules. A lot of art works¡¦ origin ideas came from nature. So I do not think that one of them should be the master and the other the lower one. I also think that art can not be separated from the nature! These two things are really closely connected!!