William Carlos William’s poem “Raleigh was Right” was a reaction to Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd.” Raleigh in his poem “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” was trying to come up with an authentic view pertaining to the relationship between humans and nature. He was responding to Marlowe’s poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” whose main idea was on how time will destroy all the pleasures that are associated with the natural world. For instance, in some stanzas the shepherds did promise “beds of roses “(line 9) (Marlowe, 17), “And a thousand fragrant posies” (Marlowe, lines 10). Marlowe was using this as a way of persuading his love to join him and live with him. Both William and Raleigh in their poems comment on this relationship between human and nature depicted in Marlowe’s poem.
The way Marlowe’s imagery consisting of flowers and wonderful garment transformed to wilting flowers and perished items brings up Raleigh point that time is the killer of the human and nature relationship since the beauty that the nature held was short lived. He places lots of emphasis on the on the destructive nature of time that was evident when nymph rejected the offers from shepherd. According to the speaker in William Carlos William’s poem “Raleigh was Right” the human versus nature, relationship depicted by Marlowe Shepherd “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is something that never existed in the first place.
William Carlos William’s poem “Raleigh was Right” identifies the human nature relationship as his central idea. William brings up the subject that the human nature relationship is not ultimate and touches on his depiction of the country life. William comes with his central idea in through his statements in the first lines of the poem. “We cannot go to the country / for the country will bring us / no peace” (lines1-3) (Larson, 10). The same can also be seen in the final lines, “the country will bring us / no peace” (lines 24-25). William has repeated these statements to emphasize the phrases that nature has nothing to offer to humans especially the harmony and happiness they really desire to have. According to the following statement “if ever this were true” (line 16) the country life that William is trying to describe must have been in existence “long ago” (lines 11, 12). According to William it is not only the country life that is presented focusing on the certainty to aspects such as time as Raleigh depicts but it might also have never been there in the first place as described by the shepherds.
William in his poem comes is in support and goes ahead to support the analysis of the relationship existing between humans and nature as depicted in Marlowe’s poem. The nymph declares her stand in the first stanza as shown in our first paragraph. Both William and Raleigh analyze Marlowe poem. Raleigh at some point emphasizes on the on the destructive nature of time that was evident when nymph rejected the offers from shepherd. The same critique can be seen in William Carlos William’s poem “Raleigh was Right” the human versus nature, relationship depicted by Marlowe Shepherd “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is something that never existed in the first place.
In conclusion, William’s central comes up with his main idea by tilting his poem to being up the subject of human nature relationship. William main idea is a further development to Raleigh Critique of Marlowe Shepherd poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” a depiction of the country life.
- GALE, CENGAGE L. E. A. R. N. I. N. G. Poetry for Students: A Study Guide for Walter Raleigh’s “the Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd.”. DETROIT: GALE, CENGAGE LEARNING, 2016. Print.
- Larson, Kelli A. Guide to the Poetry of William Carlos Williams. New York: Hall [u.a., 1995. Print.
- Marlowe, Christopher, Carmen Voss, William E. Voss, and Ruth E. Adomeit. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. Fullerton, Calif.: Ampersand Workshop, 1984. Print