Adobe Gallery Blog

The Song of the Lark

Category: General | Posted by Todd | Fri, Mar 29th 2024, 1:41pm

From Women and Vessels in The Song of the Lark and Shadows on the Rock


Their pottery was the most direct appeal to water, the envelope and sheath of the precious element itself" (334). Sharon O'Brien explains how during her sojourn in the canyon, Willa Cather, too, "felt herself recipient of a mode of creativity marked by receptivity rather than self-assertion" (415). She was, according to Sergeant, interested in the ancient women who "under conditions of incredible difficulty" had "made beautiful objects for daily use out of riverbottom clay" (O'Brien 415). Thus when Thea's revelation about art hits her, it is closely tied to the idea of women and spirituality:

The stream and the broken pottery: what was art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself,-life hurrying past us and running away. . . . The Indian women had held it in their jars. In singing, one made a vessel of one's throat and nostrils and held it on one's breath, caught the stream in a scale of natural intervals. (334-35)

-          Willa Cather The Song of the Lark (1915)