Etherealizing : by Robert Frost || Summary and Analysis

Also Read

Etherealizing

A theory if you hold it hard enough
And long enough gets rated as a creed:
Such as that flesh is something we can slough
So that the mind can be entirely freed.
Then when the arms and legs have atrophied,
And brain is all that’s left of mortal stuff,
We can lie on the beach with the seaweed
And take our daily tide baths smooth and rough.

There once we lay as blobs of jellyfish
At evolution’s opposite extreme.
But now as blobs of brain we’ll lie and dream,
With only one vestigial creature wish:
Oh, may the tide be soon enough at high
To keep our abstract verse from being dry.

A theory if you hold it hard enough And long enough gets rated as a creed: Such as that flesh is something we can slough So that the mind can be entirely freed. Then when the arms and legs have atrophied, And brain is all that’s left of mortal stuff, We can lie on the beach with the seaweed And take our daily tide baths smooth and rough.
Etherealizing

Analysis

Introduction:

       The sonnet Etherealizing by Robert Frost following Shakespearean form is a satire on those who would have the human being evolve to become pure brain. It is from Steeple Bush. Satirical exposition on mankind, with great vividness present here by the narrator.

Summary:

      Frost satirises the idea that, if one holds on to a certain belief persistently enough, it is sure to become a creed. There are people who regard the body as superfluous and the mind alone as essential. Supposing the mind does acquire an independent existence apart from the body, and the arms and legs are gone, and only the brain is left, what, kind of existence will the brain lead ? The brain might lie on the beach letting the waves wash over it. This, perhaps, will be the last stale of the evolutionary process. There was a time in the evolutionary process, at the very beginning, when life was a blob of jellyfish; now it may develop and become mere brain. The 'blobs of brain' will think and dream; there being no body left, there will be no physical needs or desires. Our only wish would be for the tide to remain high enough to keep washing us, so as to 'keep our abstract verse from being dry'. We would have been 'etherealized', turned into pure abstractions. And we would then be completely useless.

Critical Remarks:

      The satire is delightful, Pure mind is as useless as pure body; it is as valueless as a body without a mind. Though basically in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet, the rhyme scheme has been varied by Frost.

Previous Post Next Post

Google Search