Critical Analysis of Tartary, by De La Mare
The poem is an example of high romance and escapist views. This is a romantic and colorful poem. The poet uses several images like "ivory", "throne", "forests", "zebras", "wine", "honey" etc. which create beauty. The poet has expressed his long wish by employing word pictures. He wishes to be the sole ruler of Tartary, an imaginary state. He enumerates for us that he would have a bed of ivory, a throne of gold and a big court in which peacocks would flaunt. In his forests tigers would haunt. His pools would be full of "fishes". Music would be played to invite him to meals.
In his castle lamps would shine, "yellow as honey red as wine". His dress would be made of precious stones. Seven zebras would draw his car. In this way, the poet would be the sole ruler of Tartary and this colorful kingdom would remain unmatched among all the kings of the world either living or dead. The poet choses escape from reality into a world of fantasy which is so stunning and wonderful to look at that we wish to be a part of his dream i.e. Tartary. The poet says that his kingdom will be spread from the white flowing streams to the yellowish rivers furthest from the mountain tops.
In escapist literature writers tend to lose their pains and agonies by seeking hide in dreams and fiction instead of dipping into the gloom of the present situation; however, this sort of escapist view has been criticized by many on the ground that it may provide one with a shelter for one's desires for time being only but the problems of reality cannot be highlighted with this sort of art. Such writings do appeal to the senses and provide us temporary relief which is no less than a blessing the times of troubles and issues for a man.