Year: 2018

Nature And Human Nature In The Poetry Of Browning

In literature nature has a significant role. The word ‘nature’ suggests the whole universe and every created object-living or non-living. Browning had his own attitude to nature according to his temperament and poetic sensibilities. In the present essay let us have a glimpse of the treatment of nature in the poetry of Browning.

Browning, nurtured in the Romantic atmosphere of poetry, did not overlook the influence of nature on man; but in a bid to forge a new kind of poetry consciously eschewed overemphasis on nature and attempted to focus on human nature. More precisely, to Browning Love was more important than Nature.

It was an established practice of the Neo classical writers to minutely and painstakingly perceive distinct/specific natural phenomenon and then extract the unspecific/universal from them. The Romantics showed in their creative writings a reverse trend. It’s a fact that the Romantics viewed nature more subjectively than objectively. Browning found the solely sense perceptions not as important as the intuitive and instinctual vision of the semantic aspects of objects in nature. In Nature Browning discovered a redoubtable character endowed with the variegated feelings of human beings, and inducing in us very mixed reactions of her mighty impact-benign, terrible and awe-inspiring. “Nature and Passion are powerful”, and Browning’s poetic device of harmonizing the animated Nature and primal passions in Man is very subtle and skilful.

As a poet Browning was attracted more by the Italian painting, sculpture and music than by its picturesque landscape. Landor’s epitaph on himself: “Nature I loved, and after Nature Art” can be applied in the case of Browning only by inverting the word-order, and in that reconstructed word-order Browning would have declared: “Art I loved, and after Art, Nature.” In nature Browning saw the elemental powers doing good as well as evil. Browning is not at all partial and does not show any temperamental inclination to magnify the benevolent powers by minimizing the evil ones.

Browning finds nature in her totality. In other words, he observes in nature the harmonious co-existence of calm, serene beauty on the one hand, and ruggedness, ugliness and the grotesque on the other. As offspring of mother nature we have similarity with the luminous, radiant and beautiful things as well as with the monstrous, rugged ones. Browning’s instress and poetic temperament was more fascinated by things grotesque, rugged, top-heavy like the toad-stool, lop-sided, etc. This element of ruggedness is thus amply reflected everywhere in his treatment of human characters, in the depiction of landscape, in the use of verse form, and vocabulary.


Natural Doesn’t Come in a Plastic Bottle

“ADHD medications aren’t natural.”

“I only want to use natural ways to manage my ADHD symptoms.”

“I don’t want to put anything unnatural into my body.”

These are just some of the familiar comments I hear during or following one of my presentations about ADHD medications. In our world where more and more things come out of a bag or a factory, it makes sense that we are trying to balance this with as much “natural” in our lives as possible.

I like to think that “natural” has become the new black. “Natural” has become very fashionable. I myself have been on an “all-natural” whole food diet for the past several months aimed at decreasing inflammatory arthritis that had been causing nasty pain in my back. I will admit, this natural approach has been the only thing that has relieved the pain and I admit liking to be, at least for once, trendy.

So, while I completely get it when we prefer “natural” and not wanting to put anything in or on our bodies that would be harmful, I must challenge the application of this practice and those who argue they won’t use ADHD medications because they aren’t “natural”. Because if we hold true to using only “natural” solutions, we’d have to toss out many of the ways we manage health challenges and deficits.

Consider these… Glasses aren’t “natural”. Insulin isn’t “natural”. Chemotherapy isn’t “natural”. Cold medication isn’t “natural”. Tylenol isn’t “natural”. Sexual enhancers aren’t “natural”. Inhalers for asthma aren’t “natural”.

I think you get the point. But, while some “unnatural” medical treatments seem to be accepted, the debate rages on with a great degree of passion about the “unnaturalness” (aka harmfulness) of ADHD medications.

Because I tend to get a little passionate about things I really care about, I wanted to be clear and check my own biases. So, I looked up the word “natural” in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary and found this:

Natural: existing in nature and not made or caused by people.