AD's English Literature : Walter de la Mare’s Silver: Simplicity of Dictions, Rhythmic Sounds, Painting of the Nocturnal Setting and Fairy- tale like Ambience

Monday, November 21, 2011

Walter de la Mare’s Silver: Simplicity of Dictions, Rhythmic Sounds, Painting of the Nocturnal Setting and Fairy- tale like Ambience

Walter de la Mare’s Silver is simply beautiful for its simplicity of diction, rhythmic sounds, painting of the nocturnal setting and fairy tale like ambiance. Rhyming in couplets the entire poem is a flow of onomatopoeic sounds; but the sounds itself transmutes the colours.


In pictorial details the poet first describes how the moon slowly and silently glides through the silver sphere. The moon beams assert a magical spell over the natural objects. The fruit trees down the earth are carrying silvery fruits glisten with the soft glossy light of the moon. The casement, the thatched roof sheltering the dog- everything is silvery. Doves are too resting here in silvery lights. The harvest mouse running to and fro is coloured silver with claws and eyes. Even the fish in the water is silver. The stream is also coloured by shining silver.

By the eerie atmosphere of nature the poet presents a silvery beauty where there is no human activities- but the world of animal activities of dog, bird, fish etc. most interestingly the stillness, calm and quietude of the nocturnal setting arrests our mind.

Again Silver is replete with beautiful imageries. First of all moon has been personified as an elf walking on the territory wearing silver shoon. And her magic spell is turning everything into silver and silence. The sleeping dog in the kennel with its silver paws is lying like a piece of log. The feathers of roasting doves are turning silvery. A harvest mouse goes scampering by with silver claws, and silver eye. The moveless fish in the water gleam by the moonlight. The river side reeds are tossing on the bank of Silver River. This sensual- visual imagery are furnished in the quoted few lines:

the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;”

 “Silver fruit upon silver trees;”

Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;”

the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered”

“moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.”

Silver is a fine nocturnal poem. The subtle way in which the poet builds the world of the moonlit night is really worthy of praise. The poem is superb not only from the standpoint of artistic beauty, but also from the presentation of details and arrangement of the perfect snap shot of a silvery night. The collages of rustic setting with huts, meadows, reed strew river remain ever alive in our heart appealing to mystery and awe of nature.

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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