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Quotes

Quote #7

Groves take on blossoms,          the cities grow fair,
the fields are comely,          the world seems new:
all these things urge on          the eager of spirit,
the mind to travel,          in one who so thinks
to travel far          on the paths of the sea.
(48-52)

If you thought all of the speaker's problems were related to the terrible weather, this passage just might prove you wrong. Even nice weather inspires our guy to get out on the whale road. Here, the connection between the natural world and our speaker's inner state seems a bit more distant.

Quote #8

So the cuckoo warns          with a sad voice;
the guardian of summer sings,          bodes a sorrow
grievous in the soul.[…]
(53-55)

These birds just will not shut up. Because its song marks the arrival of warmer weather, the cuckoo becomes a symbol of the time for travel. The speaker does not necessarily want to travel, so its voice sounds "sad" to him. This passage is a perfect example of the way the speaker's mindset influences his interpretation of the natural world around him.

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