The Photograph

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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

20 June, 2016

Robert Frost's "The Oven Bird" and Iconic Realism (Click onto this title to hear and see an ovenbird.)

(Oven Bird photo from Google Images)
The Oven Bird
by Robert Frost
There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing. 

Robert Frost's poetry portrays the enigma of humanity through his observations of nature. His poem, "The Oven Bird," is no exception. The high-pitched song of this bird reminds the busy human of the lessons learned through the simplicity of nature.

The iconic structure here is the oven bird, a woodland icon of summer, representing the natural progression of life. In the tenth line, Frost points out, "He says the highway dust is over all." This line, unusual in that it follows vivid, natural imagery, awakens the reader to the conflict between humanity's impact versus the seemingly insignificant bird, singing "not to sing.”

In this verse, Frost illustrates the necessity of a natural sequence, "Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten," and the devastation that can exist when this sequence diminishes. Frost uses this small bird as nature's 'teacher,' indicated in its sweet song.