Calypso Borealis, by John Muir

“It seems wonderful that so frail and lovely a plant has such power over human hearts.” This was said in the essay, Calypso Borealis, by John Muir. “And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.” This was said by William Wordsworth in the I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud poem. What is it about nature that can make the world just stop? And not seem real? On separate occasions, told in different ways, by two men describe to others that might not understand just how special and truly amazing nature is. In Calypso Borealis, John Muir views nature as beautiful and extraordinary and shares his view through diction, although, William Wordsworth uses connotation to show his view of nature as a work of art in his poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. No matter the struggles nature has put Muir through he learned something that day, and became great friends with one of the best, but numerous mysteries life has to offer. He was able to share this by the way he spoke and what words he chose, they call that diction. Muir paints a picture of his long journey when he uses words like: “lonely”, “extensive”, and “struggling”. Just when he thinks he’ll never be able to find it, he does. He finds the Calypso right when he needed it the most. Muir struggled to find the Calypso, and even then, he wasn’t supposed to make it out of the swamp alive, just like the rest of them. He was starving most of the time and was sleeping without blankets. He found the Calypso for a reason, he survived the swamp for a reason, and he survived the starvation and cold for a reason. John Muir had a once in a lifetime experience that day and got something out of it. He became closer with nature and got a better understanding of both nature and life and who’s to say he didn’t become a better person for it. William Wordsworth didn’t go through the same things as John Muir did. But he still had the wonderful experience with nature. One that is not so easily forgotten. He is able to use connotation by showing and making others feel the way he was feeling in that moment. Not only does he share his amazing accomplishment, but he makes this poem better by being able to share his emotion and his senses at that point and time. When he speaks of the exploration you can feel the “fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” And when “the waves beside them danced.” Just the simplest encounter with the natural earth taught him something and made him think differently. Whenever Wordsworth is in an upset or bored mood he is able to think back on his escapade with nature and it makes him happy. It makes him feel better and gives him complete peace and solitude. Muir and Wordsworth had such a connection to nature. They didn’t just tell their story, they made you feel, see, and actually be there in the moment with them. They were also able to tell their stories using connotation and diction. They made their stories inspiring and memorable, had a lesson to learn, something that is not easy to forget. They created their story, now it’s our turn.

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