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by H.D.

Oread Theme of Man and the Natural World

Let's be even more exact and call this theme "Nymph and the Natural World." We've got an Oread commanding the sea to whirl up and meet the land (especially the forest). While we don't know if the sea ever actually does as the Oread tells it, we can't deny that this nymph is one powerful chick—her language is intense and demanding, and the sea practically becomes the land in her language. The humanlike creature thus has some real power over nature in "Oread."

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How would the poem be different if it were spoken by a human? Is the Oread's nymph-ness important to the poem?
  2. Why do you think it's important to the nymph that she bring the land and sea together? 
  3. We get a lot of forest-y description of the sea, but no sea-ish description of the forest in the poem. Why do you think that is? 
  4. Imagine that you were making a movie of this poem. Would the Oread's commands be a success? Would the sea actually whirl up?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The nymph has no hope of controlling the sea, and the land and sea can never be merged. This poem was doomed from the get-go.

Um, hello, our Oread is the most powerful nymph ever. (Just look at her words!) The sea will surely do as she commands.

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