TARTARY – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

TARTARY – (Walter De la Mare)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM

Water De la Mare is pure poet who is known as the poet of images and impressions. He always aims at providing imaginative pleasures to his readers instead of teaching them some moral or social lesson.

Like all romantic poets, he escapes into an idea and longed for world. It has always been a desire of man to consider him all powerful and mighty to attain power. He uses all means, foul or fair to gain endless power. The poets are sensitive people. They do not have the skill and art to attain power and derive pleasure out of this image of glory. Walter de la Mare also dreams of having great powers after becoming the lord of Tartary. It is the figment of poet’s imagination. The poem is a journey into the realm of imagination.

The poem is romantic in its essence. The land of Tartary has been painted by the poet with various attractive and sensuous images. He imagines himself the lord of a land rich with all worldly resources. Like all the ancient kings, he longs to have an ivory bed and throne of beaten gold. His court will be attended by peacocks. The peacocks will walk and dance in his court. Fish will swim in his pools and tigers roar in his forests. In this way, he longs to rule not only men but animals and beats also. He wants to be monarch of all he surveys.

The main idea of the poem is that every person wants to get rid of his worried and artificial world. Like all royal and lofty kings of the past, he wants to enjoy all the comforts of his life. He wishes to eat his meal with the announcement of a bugle. In the evening, his place will be illuminated with lamps, ‘yellow as honey’ and ‘red as wine’. He longs to enjoy the charming notes of music in the evening.

Slowly and gradually the poet creates an imaginary pleasure place for his satisfaction and consolation. As a lord of Tartary, the poet longs to wear gorgeous dress, decorated with jewels. Jewels will be of white, gold and green colour and they will be clustered thick as seeds. In the morning, he would put on his royal robes with a sword in his belt. His carriage will be driven by ‘zebras seven’, through dark glades of Tartary.

Although this heaven-like wonder may not be feasible to achieve yet it is certainly possible and desirable of every person to enjoy it intellectually. The land of Tartary would be remarkable for its rich and abundant growth of fruits. It is rich in its resources. Its hills and rivers will add to its beauty. Its valleys and forests are green and dark with trees. It is known for its scented breeze and overflowing lakes. The chirping birds with their beautiful songs will transport the soul of man into happiness. It is a fertile land full of flowers, greenery and fruit.

EXERCISE

Tartary is a romantic poem. Discuss it.

Like all romantic poets, he escapes into an idea and longed for world. It has always been a desire of man to consider himself all powerful and mighty to attain power. He uses all means, foul or fair to gain endless power. The poets are sensitive people. They do not have the skill and art to attain power and derive pleasure out of this image of glory. Walter de la Mare also dreams of having great powers after becoming the lord of Tartary. It is the figment of poet’s imagination. The poem is a journey into the realm of imagination.

The poem is romantic in its essence. The land of Tartary has been painted by the poet with various attractive and sensuous images. He imagines himself the lord of a land rich with all worldly resources. Like all the ancient kings, he longs to have an ivory bed and throne of beaten gold. His court will be attended by peacocks. The peacocks will walk and dance in his court. Fish will swim in his pools and tigers roar in his forests. In this way, he longs to rule not only men but animals and beats also. He wants he wants to be monarch of all he surveys.

Although this heaven-like wonder may not be feasible to achieve yet it is certainly possible and desirable of every person to enjoy it intellectually. The land of Tartary would be remarkable for its rich and abundant growth of fruits. It is rich in its resources. Its hills and rivers will add to its beauty. Its valleys and forests are green and dark with trees. It is known for its scented breeze and overflowing lakes. The chirping birds with their beautiful songs will transport the soul of man into happiness. It is a fertile land full of flowers, greenery and fruit.

The images used in the poem are highly romantic and colorful. The images of an ‘ivory bed’, ‘golden throne’, ‘dancing peacocks’ etc. make the poem romantic. The image of the lord of Tartary, with a gorgeous dress sitting in a carriage, driven by seven zebras is a romantic picture.

Discuss De la Mare as a lover of nature with reference to his poem ‘Tartary’.
OR
Give your impression of Walter de La Mare as a poet after reading his poem ‘Tartary’.

Walter De La Mare is a romantic poet like Wordsworth. As such, his poetry deals with common place things. To make Tartary an ideal land, the poet has given a good proof of his love for nature. He believes that the beautiful scenes of nature and its enchanting sound are a precious treasure of delight and wonder for man. The poet has no liking for the industrial and mechanical life like William Davies. So the poet does not ignore the soothing and pleasing function of nature while giving the concept an ideal life.

The poet wishes that his kingdom of Tartary should have all the variety of natural society. There should be thick forests, deep valley and tall hills. The sky of his country should be decorated with shining stars. It should be a land dazzling rivers, trembling lakes and foamless seas. He loves to have abundance of fruit trees that delight the birds and inspire them to sing cheerfully. On every morning he would love to ride through the dark glades of Tartary to enjoy the beauties of nature. In stead of driving an air conditioned Mercedes car, he likes to sit in an open coach driven by seven zebras. He likes to hear the songs of birds and to feast his eyes on the beauty of the green world. His dream of happy life remains incomplete without such aesthetic pleasure driven form, the world of nature.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. What is the importance of the word ‘Tartary’.

Tartary was the paradise like region ruled by Changez Khan. This region was spreading over Turkey, Iran, Kashmir, Tibet and Afghanistan. This region was considered very prosperous and peaceful. On the same pattern Walter De la Mare wants to build his own imaginary state. It is an ideal land full of beautiful lands with difference fruits and crops of many colors.

2. What do you find similar between Davies and De La Mare?
3. Pick out all the colorful words the poet has used.
4. Do you like poet’s philosophy of escapism? If not why?
5. Write 50 words about he diction and rhyme scheme of the poem.
6. What are the images and impressions?

Quotations and references for this poem

1) “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against vanity”. (Jude De Gautier)
2) “To dream is a very pleasant exercise of fancy.”
3) “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
4) “Existence would be intolerable if we were never to dream.”

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