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The same energy which inspired the rooks, the ploughmen, the horses, and even, it seemed, the lean bare-backed downs, sent the moth fluttering from side to side of his square of the windowpane. One, was, indeed, conscious of a queer feeling of pity for him.
That was all he could do, in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea. Watching him, it seemed as if a fiber, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body.
As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. Yet, because he was so small, and so simple a form of the energy that was rolling in at the open window and driving its way through so many narrow and intricate corridors in my own brain and in those of other human beings, there was something marvelous as well as pathetic about him.
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The rooks too were keeping one of their annual festivities; soaring round the tree tops until it looked as if a vast net with thousands of black knots in it had been cast up into the air; which, after a few moments sank slowly down upon the trees until every twig seemed to have a knot at the end of it.
Then, suddenly, the net would be thrown into the air again in a wider circle this time, with the utmost clamor and vociferation, as though to be thrown into the air and settle slowly down upon the tree tops were a tremendously exciting experience.This selection from my favorite, Annie Dillard is a keen observer of nature, and in her essay entitled "Transfiguration," her descriptions of insects, and moths in particular, combined with words related to religion get across her message that writing, in her view, is a sacred act.The central episode in the essay is her detailed description of a moth flying into a candle flame and burning for two hours while Dillard uses the light it produces to read the poetry of Rimbaud.I am not sure which Annie Dillard work you are referring to, so I have chosen a fairly large selection from among my favorites: I am so glad you asked about Annie Dillard because she is best known as a modern day Emerson or Thoreau, a true, living Transcendentalist.I am not sure which Annie Dillard work you are referring to, so I have chosen a fairly large selection from among my favorites: What does it feel like to be alive? You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall.Annie Dillard uses description, imagery, simile, and even onomatopoeia to comment on how nature is the ultimate experience of life: a true Transcendental statement of Emerson's "Oversoul." Note the description of the waterfall here; it relies on many interesting action verbs such as "pelt" and "shed" and "pick" and "bang" and "slide" and "break." Further, water is one of those natural images that encompasses ALL the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.Thus, as you can see, Annie Dillard is definitely a modern day Transcendentalist who uses many literary elements to show her enjoyment of nature.Dillard describes the moth's body as "a fraying, partially collapsed gold tube jammed upright in the candle's round pool" that ends up becoming a second wick.Religious images are evoked with comparisons of the burning moth to "an immolating monk" and "a hollow saint, like a flame-faced virgin gone to God." Dillard believes that to be a writer is to give your life to writing.The plough was already scoring the field opposite the window, and where the share had been, the earth was pressed flat and gleamed with moisture.Such vigor came rolling in from the fields and the down beyond that it was difficult to keep the eyes strictly turned upon the book.