POETIC THEMES 1
Thosewho Love by Sara Teasdale
One of thepredominant themes in the poem is theme of love. According toTeasdale, love is a subject that should be held dear and those whotruly love do not talk about love. In this respect, it is imperativeto note that the poem’s word choice is in line with the need toemphasize the message of the poem to the reader. The poet has used anumber of artistic styles and elements to vividly address the issueof love and this is very influential in ensuring that the readerfully grasps the underlying message of how love should be treated.
Love is feelingthat cannot be well explained to other people. People experience lovefor different purposes and yet it is very difficult to explain theirfeelings to other people. This is attested by Teasdale when shepoints out that even people who have experienced love intensively donot talk about their love but would rather speak about otherinsignificant things. This is well captured by the lines:
“In the fragrant gardens of heaven
Are silent, or speak if at all
Of fragile, inconsequent things.”
These lines play acrucial role in informing the reader that love is a sacred thing thatshould be spared from frequent discussions as this is likely to makethe concept of love attain casual meaning despite its importance toan individual. It is also important to note that Teasdale alsoinforms the reader that love can be harmful to an individual. Shedoes this through giving a vivid description of a woman who had loveda man from her young years and never spoke of her feelings butwhenever the man was mentioned, a light would cross her face.
Lendingout Books by Hal Sirowitz
Sirowitz’s poemtitled Lending out Books has theme of love as one of its majorthemes. Although the setting of the novel is in a therapist’soffice and the object of conversation is books, it is important tonote that the poet has incorporated sentiments associated with lovein his message. For example, it is important to note that the actionof giving out books is an allusion to the sacrifices people make whenthey are in a romantic relationship. People in love tend to give somuch although at times this gesture is not reciprocated which leadsto frustration and anguish.
Using allusion,Sirowitz has shown how people in love can benefit mutually withoutone of the parties abusing the trust of the other party. In thisrespect, it is imperative to note that people in love are liable tosacrifice for the sake of the relationship. However, if one of theparties is noted for abusing the trust of the other through ensuringthat they are the only ones who are benefiting from the relationship,it is very likely that the relationship will not flourish and it willbreak before it develops into a meaningful and mutually beneficialrelationship.
Sirowitz writesthat, “… she is afraid if she sees you again you’ll expecther to talk about them, & will want to lend her even more. So shecancels the date.” This indicates that when one party realizesthat they cannot meet the needs of the other party as a means forpaying for the good deeds that they have received, then they arelikely to end the love relationship (Jaén & Simon, 2013).
Susquehannaby Liz Rosenberg
Liz Rosenberg’spoem Susquehanna has the primary themes of love, gratitude,and some elements of tragedy. In relation to the theme of love,Rosenberg gives a vivid description of her experience with her lover.However, she insinuates that although she cherished the days and timethey spent together, she did not really appreciate them since she wasaware that they would be many more days before death would come andtake them away. This implies that it is important to cherish and showgratitude to the love that is extended to an individual by theirlovers. Failure to cherish them results with regret when the lover isno longer available to extend their love. In this respect, the poemhighlights the point of ensuring that every little deeds that mayseem insignificant must be cherished to allow love to be experiencedin a satisfactory manner in this life.
The poet alsoinsinuates that she regrets not having cherished the days that theyshared love with her love. She states, “I thought I could notrun out of them” to indicate that her indifference to the lovethat was extended to her had come back to haunt her now that she wasnot receiving the love anymore.
This regret that isexpressed by the author also reflects the fact that love usually hastragic ends. Whether it is death or heartbreak, love ends with peopleexperiencing painful emotions due to the end of their love. In thisrespect, the poet sends the message that it is imperative to cherishthe moment that one is in love in order to have some nostalgicmemories when the love comes to end. The poet also seeks to send themessage that people in love should prepare for the painful emotionsthat are associated with love coming to an end.
Politicsby William Butler Yeats
Yeats poem,Politics, was written during a time the world was troubled byvarious conflicts including the Spanish Civil War and the impedingaggression by Germany’s Third Reich under the leadership of AdolphHitler. It is imperative to note that although the poem was writtenduring troubled times, some of its major themes are not associatedwith the international political climate but focuses on importantprivate human interaction rather than public interactions.
The poems hashighlighted a number of opposites that are challenging each otherincluding male and female, emotion and intellect, and age and youth.There is an implication that young adults are in each other arms thatunderscores the theme of love. This reference to love indicates thatthe poet is concerned with his age and its adverse relationship withthe lovers highlighted in the poem. The poet points out that he hasthe inability to turn his attention from “that girls standingthere”, to politics also highlights the fact that love can makeone oblivious of what is happening around them.
In this respect, itis imperative to note that the poet has incorporated the theme oflove to show that despite the negativities that the society could befacing, love can help people to conquer and emerge victorious amidthe difficulties and challenges facing them. His reference to theopposing forces of emotions and intelligence plays a critical role inhighlighting the fact love can sometimes be a powerful force thatsupersedes logic. This means that although love is important in thelives of people, people should be wary of how it can blind them tothe logical elements of the world that could lead to harm.
Jaén, I., & Simon, J. J. (Eds.). (2013). Cognitive LiteraryStudies: Current Themes and New Directions. Austin, Texas:University of Texas, pp. 56 – 78.