LITB3: Ode to Evening

“For Collins, nature provides more food for the spirit than food for the body.”
How far do you agree with this view of Ode to Evening?

1. Personification of Evening as a presence, a person, a living Being.
2. The poem is a hymn, a prayer, a petition to this presence.
3. It suggests the impossibility (or perhaps the difficulties) of capturing and securing a lasting experience of union with this presence.
4. Edmund Burke’s concept of ‘the sublime’ is very helpful in understanding Collins’ spiritual quest: it is a journey in which we experience, simultaneously, both the disturbing, unsettling effect of evening and its calming, soothing presence.

Compare this poem with: Tintern Abbey; Paradise Lost.

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