The Lion and The Lamb

After our discussion about William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience a couple weeks ago, I began thinking a lot about its connections to other ideas/ topics we have talked about in this class.  I personally was interested in how he created many of the poems in pairs and how they explore two unique perspectives of the world we live in.  Here we see the pastoral contrasts between innocence verse experience, child verse adult, and simplicity verse complexity.

The Songs of Innocence portray acceptance.  They exaggerate the adolescent faith and fears that give meaning to the lives of children.  These songs represent naïve pastoral simplicity of trusting adults and believing what they hear.  There is a lack of problems and complexity and the child has no sense of what is right verse what is wrong.  We see in The Lamb that the lamb is an allegory for baby Jesus, representing the Christian values.  The song says, “Little Lamb, who made thee? /  Dost thou know who made thee?”  Here the Lamb is asking who created them and asking the other person, whom I assume is their mother or father, about their origins.  The child is asking simple questions although they do not realize they are asking profound questions that many people have about their own particular derivation.  The second stanza is a response to the first stanza and responds saying, “Little Lamb I tell thee: / He is called by thy name, / For he calls himself a Lamb. / He is meek & he is mild; / He became a little child. / I a child & thou a lamb. / We are called by his name.”  The child is told that the Lamb was made by the one who “calls himself a Lamb,” making a reference to God.  This song/ poem represents the innocence that a child has to accept teachings. Continue reading

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The House That Built Me

Every morning after I wake up, I turn on CMT (Country Music Television).  I listen to the songs as I get ready and occasionally I will stop to actually watch the music video.  The other day the song “The House That Built Me” came on and I began to watch the music video as its pastoral features reminded me of this class.  Although I have heard this song many times before and know the lyrics, I wanted to watch the music video to see how these lyrics were displayed visually to complete this music video. “The House That Built me” was written by country music songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, and recorded by country music singer Miranda Lambert.  This song is a country ballad where Miranda Lambert is the narrator describing her journey as she returns, as an adult, back to the house that she grew up in.  The song title describes this house as the house that built her because within the walls of the household all the memories she had of growing up there with her family. Continue reading

Private Property

While writing my free-form essay, I came across a lot of information that gave me ideas for my second formal essay.  I am really interested in the promotion of going ‘green’ that I feel our culture uses so often to advertise and sell different products and in the issue of owning land.  I am interested in the way that people try to control nature and the urge to take the complexity of today and relate it back to nature and the more ‘natural’ way of doing things.  But, I am not sure if this is too broad of a topic?

There are different ideas I plan on using to explain the control humans have over the natural environment.  The first is a book I found called Rights to Nature: Ecological, Economic, Cultural, and Political Principles of Instutions for the Environment, by Susan Hanna, Carl Folke, and Karl-Goran Maler.    This book is about how humans use nature and specifically talks about the procedures of rights, responsibilities, and rules that conduct and control the human use of the natural environment.  It discusses Continue reading

Go Green!

It seems that in today’s culture, it is very common for many companies to advertise their products by promoting a more simple and environmental friendly lifestyle.  Whether it is an ad in a magazine or a commercial on TV, the use of the phrase “Go Green!” is almost always used.  But why green?  What does the color green have to do with promoting a more environmental friendly lifestyle?

“Going green” is the concept of making changing in your lifestyle to a way that is more friendly to the environment.  This all goes back to the urging of a pastoral lifestyle where the simplicity of nature was of the most importance.  There was no need for all this advertising for people to go green because the main concern of the shepherds was the land.  As we saw in the Eclogues of Virgil, Meliboeus had an emotional attachment to his land, both the maintaining of it and its natural beauty.  He greatly contributed to the development of his environment by keeping it green and beautiful.  Meliboeus realized that he was given this land and it was his duty to appreciate the land and take care of it.  Going green means becoming environmentally conscious of this social issue and making people aware of how their daily choices affect the environment.  I think that in today’s culture we urge to go back to the pastoral simple ways where the term “Go Green” was not a suggestion, but a way of life.

I saw this ad , “Go Green, Save Green: A simple guide to saving time, money, and God’s green earth,” and thought about all the different ways people can interpret an ad like this one.  When I see an ad like this  Continue reading

Place vs. Culture

Pastoral and place have a deep connection with one another throughout the Eclogues of Virgil.  My topic focuses on the pastoral tension evoked by the role of the environment within the text; the perspectives of politics versus nature.  The first eclogue begins with dialogue between Meliboeus and Tityrus, where the two shepherds disclose contrasting perspectives between attachment to land and participation in culture.  On one hand, Meliboeus is concerned with losing the land he has worked so hard to maintain and cultivate.  One can see that the literal environment matters to pastoral in concerns of Meliboeus’ attachment to the nature and land.  This is portrayed through the intricate details used throughout the eclogues when describing the surrounding environment.  Continue reading