Morals and values learnt in Under a Ramshackle Rainbow
" Under a Ramshackle Rainbow", is a very deep poem in which the poet uses dark
and morbid images and symbols to get across morals and values to the reader.
The underlining theme of the poem is how one should treat their surroundings and
what the consequences to their actions will be.
From the immediate start of the poem, a creepy and eery atmosphere is
created by casting a dark image in the reader's mind.
' A dead tree.
On a rotten branch sit two wingless birds.'
The words 'dead' and 'rotten' show the sincerity of the issue. The
mentioning of two wingless birds is very significant as they portray
the poet's first message to the reader. The wingless
birds basically defy their objective in life. Birds need wings to fly
and without wings not only do they not have their freedom, but they
have no means of survival; they cannot avoid predators or catch prey.
Therefore death is inevitable. After only reading the first two lines
the reader may feel confused
to why the birds are wingless and why their habit is in such an
unusual state. The ending to the
first stanza clarify the confusion.
' Among leaves on the ground a man is searching for his hands.
It is fall.
By this, the poet is explaining the cause of the dead tree and the
wingless birds. When saying that the man is ' searching for his
hands', it is made clear that the search is a pointless exercise as
the reader is told that it is fall and therefore the pile of leaves
would be extremely deep. Although the man still has his site, he does
not have his hands which are essentially needed to search through the
leaves. The poet uses this description as it is symbolizes man searching
for something that cannot be found. It is therefore implied that the man
could be searching for his morals and has played some part in causing the
tree to be in the state that it is in. The man's actions have not only
effected the tree but also its inhabitants, the birds.
The poem continues by showing the reader another situation of man's
' A stagnant marsh.
On a mossy stone sits the man angling. The hook
is stuck in the waterlily.
The waterlily is stuck in the mud '
To be fishing in a stagnant marsh is extremely absurd as it would not
result to anything for the man. It is assumed that he is only involved
in such a senseless activity as he is desperate to survive. In his
pursuit to to fulfill his own needs, he destroys a beautiful
waterlily. Just as the wingless birds had been robbed of their freedom
so is the waterlily as the waterlily is now stuck andcannot flow
freely in the water. Once again, a dramatic and moving example of how
man destroys nature in a selfish and ignorant manner is given.
The next stanza is very significant as it continues the theme of how
man's actions affect nature, includes elements of irony and includes
the pivotal point of the poem.