The three tools of pastoral— Nature, simplicity and complexity

I cannot believe this course is about to wrap up. I have learned a lot from this class that I never would have learnt in many ages. For my final free form article I decided to talk about Blake’s creativeness and its connection to nature, simplicity and complexity; These  contradictions that summarize what pastoral is ultimately about. Blake articulates a series of peoms that represent the fundamental movement from the world of innocence to the reality of experience of every pastoral life. Particularly his peom called the Holy Thursday has both an innocence and experience edge that helps us explore the two unique perspectives of the world we live in. Continue reading

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Time on the Water

Kentucky Lake

Last weekend for the holiday weekend I decided to go down to visit my friend who lives in Paducah.  We ended up spending the whole weekend at his lake house on Kentucky Lake.  As the Pastoral was on my mind at the time, I thought to myself “This will be a nice relaxing weekend and I will be able to return to lexington refreshed”.  So, I proceeded to leave my cellphone at the lake house when we went out on the lake the first night, and it was a great feeling to not be stuck in the urban setting with the constant buzz of the sirens on Nicholasville and the buzzing of my phone to annoy me.  Besides the boat it was a evening out on the water with very little to think about.  I think many people also come to the lake seeking this kind of relaxation.  The next day we spent the whole day out on the water so I had no choice, I had to bring my phone just in case of emergency.  Although the next day was not like the evening we had spent before, there is something about a Jet ski that just doesn’t seem to fit into the theme of anything pastoral to me. Continue reading

Unnatural Nature

Natural Bridge Sky-lift

This weekend I enjoyed a pastoral retreat away from the urban hustle of my downtown Lexington apartment.  It was nice to get away from the concrete jungle of the city and see something besides grey and red brick buildings and black asphalt for a change.  Pulling off of Mountain Parkway near Slade, Kentucky I immediately rolled my windows down and enjoyed the fresh air of the mountains – a nice change from the stale, coal-sulfur mix I am used to around west campus.  As an avid hiker, camper and health nut, I try to frequent the Red River Gorge area as often as possible throughout the summer.  I parked my truck in the farthest lot from the main trail to the Natural Bridge attraction and began my hike.  There were several other tourists enjoying a pleasant Saturday morning as well.  Most were also hiking enthusiasts such as myself, and had no problem traversing the one mile path up the mountain side to see the attractions.  What really caught my attention once I was at the top, however, was the number of people actually using the sky-lift. Continue reading

Looking Ahead to the Country House Poems

On Thursday, we’re going to be looking at Raymond Williams’s chapter, “Pastoral and Counter-Pastoral” comes from his famous book, The Country and the City.  Williams is best known for his analysis of that key pastoral tension, the distance between the country and the city, in terms of labor and class structure.  After reading Williams’s chapter, consider the following questions as you prepare for discussion.

According to Williams, why is the country always dependent on the city, and vice versa? Continue reading

Awe of Nature

Thinking of nature, I automatically connect it to my childhood. Although I am a true city girl, I am a country girl at heart (pony and all). Growing up in the country of Frankfort, life as a child greatly reflected the themes of pastoral literature. After spending majority of my younger, only child days running through fields and developing a love for making wishes on stars and dandelions, I became fascinated with my surroundings. Life did seem much more simple at the time, most likely due to how young I was, but at the same time there was more of a carefree nature in the people living outside of the city. Most of them have been there all there lives and farming is just a way of life. No matter how many days I spent outside, the beauty of nature never failed to truly amaze me. Whether it be the changing of seasons or the even just a random butterfly, nature is in fact awe inspiring. Continue reading