Essay about Imogen Heap s Little Bird: Nature and the Synthetic

Submitted By MichaelArnold
Words: 524
Pages: 3

I believe that Imogen—because we’re cool like that—is discussing the acceptance of a unique and modern cultural bribe. We accept the trappings of modern existence and find difficulty in expressing why we experience torpor. Part of the problem is our losing connection with nature. We no longer can identify the bird that is near us, but we can ironically identify with the “Unsaid . . . throws of the sofa.” We become identified through the filter of our materials which is in diametric opposition to our spirituality. We experience this adulterated version of nature which is
A picture perfect scene, two toned lawns are manicured
The gardens wearing haute couture
It's hiding something, it's trying too hard
Hiding something, it's trying too hard.

In this scene the human’s version of nature tries to reconfigure it into something synthetic and artificial thus causing the voice of this song to feel “quarantined.” Is it human’s trying too hard to perfect something like nature that is already perfect, or is it
Nature trying to “be” within the stifling human construct? Too much “perfection” robs
Nature of its upper­case “N.” One could argue that orange juice from concentrate is unnatural. The voice wills a connection to the little bird, the predominant symbol of the natural world, but fails: “Little bird, little bird, little bird, what do you hear?” Interestingly this voice wonders what this bird hears instead of what this bird says or sings. Another instance where nature is relegated to passive observer. While contemplating what nature thinks of this artificial landscape, the voice finds the message potentially untranslatable. TS Eliot writes this of his titular, diminished hero in “The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock”:
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,

After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— And this, and so much more?—

It is impossible to say just what I mean! (100­04)

Eliot’s Prufrock feels pangs due to his self­described, quizzical thanklessness. He believes that…