Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tartary - Summary

The poet, Walter De La Mare, imagines himself, in this poem as the “Lord of Tartary”. Tartary is a land of dream, beauty and fertility. It is replete with unheard and unseen delights. He desires to have a bed made of ivory, throne made of beaten gold, court full of dancing peacocks, forests full of roaming tigers and pools teemed with great fishes.
He imagines himself wearing a robe clustered with pearls of gold of green and white colour, holding a curved sword in his hand and riding a chariot driven by seven Zebras. He is fond of music and enjoys harp, flute and mandolin. He also desires to derive pleasure from the natural beauty and charming objects of Tartary as S.T.Coleridge puts it in own way,

“Where Alph, The Sacred river, ran
Through caverns, measureless to man
And there were gardens bright with sinuous
rills
Where blossomed many an incense-beaming
tree.

The poet expresses his hidden wish. He wishes to be an absolute master of Tartary, a far-off land given the lineaments of a romantic land, beautiful, rich, fertile and full of delights. Then, he would lead a luxurious life. Hid bed would be made of solid gold. Beautiful peacocks would
decorate his court and his royal jungles would be full of fierce roaming tigers. His beautiful ponds would be full of pretty fish whose fins would shine in the light of the sun and
thus make the whole court colourful and delighting. The poet wishes to enjoy a life full of colour, pomp and show if he were the Lord of Tartary. Then his life would be changed
altogether. His guards would blow bugle whenever the royal meal would be served. So his court would be full of the sounds of bugles and trumpets all the time. During the evening time, the beauty of the court would be enhanced and it would be illuminated with yellow and red light. Then
like the courts of the great kings, the music and dance would be presented in his honour.
All kinds of musical instruments would be played to produce sweet and melodious tunes. If he were the king, he would wear the royal dress decorated with different colours of beads and pearls. His robe would be full of white, golden and green coloured gems. Early in the morning before the waning of the morning star, he would put on his royal dress adorned with a curved sword. Seven Zebras would drive his carriage and thus he would inspect his royal estate passing through the green patches of his dark forests, as Coleridge says:

“And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding Sunny spots of greenery.”

He would be the owner of all the fruits of Tartary land and all the rivers shining in the light of sun would be his. He would be the master of the hills, valleys, forests and roves. Thus shining stars and the sweet smelling air, the winding lakes and the birds that are singing in the citron trees, all
would be his subject. So he would be able to enjoy all these things fully.

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean.

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