Study Guide

The Nightingale Transformation

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Several instances of transformation occur in the poem. When someone surrenders their spirit to nature, argues "The Nightingale," they turn into a better artist. All it takes is spending some quality time outdoors. Later, the emergence of the moon transforms the grove into a symphony of bird songs. In both instances, the transformation is caused by everyday things—nothing supernatural here. The transformation, then, comes from within, and it happens when we learn to look at things with fresh eyes.

Questions About Transformation

  1. How does nature transform mankind into something immortal?
  2. Can it do the same thing for mankind's art? How?
  3. What transformations in the grove does the night sky cause? On whom or what do they have an effect?
  4. How is the child soothed by the moon? Does looking at the moon change his mood, or does his mood change the way he (or the speaker) looks at the moon?

Chew on This

This poem is right. Nature transforms man into something immortal.

How does one "surrender their spirit" to nature? It's a great line in a poem, but it's actually not possible for human beings to do that.

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