Witnesses
Title
“Nature”
Ruskin wrote the title as “nature”; see System of Title Citation.
Genre
Poem.
Manuscripts
MS III (p. 63), a Red Book devoted primarily to “Harry and Lucy,” Vol. 2. “Nature” is the third poem in “Poetry Discriptive”.
Facsimile and transcript by permission of John Ruskin Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Date
Second half of 1827. See “Wales”: Date.
Composition and Publication
Previously unpublished.
Discussion
In this brief poem, it is possible that Ruskin is exploring how he can use the line—both in itself and in its arrangement on the physical page—to highlight poetic effects, such as repetition, consonance, and assonance. For example, on the physical page, by breaking the first line with a runover (printed in smaller lettering), he draws attention to the symmetry of the repeated thy in the first part of the line. Similiarly, the bold enjambment in line 3 emphasizes the consonance of twittering and tempests. Assonance is prominent throughout.
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