Thursday, September 29, 2005

Part Three: Love

Emily Dickinson (1830-86) Complete Poems 1924

Part Three: Love
II

You left me, sweet, two legacies--
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.

This poem by Emily Dickinson provides two sides of love. The speaker says that the lover left two legacies one being love that would satisfy anyone even the "Heavenly Father" himself, and pain that goes as wide as the sea. The first stanza discusses the more happier side of love. The "legacy of love" is a strong way to describe what the lover left for the speaker. It goes on to say that "A Heavenly Father would content" with the offer. These lines describe the amount of love left behind. It is so large and immense that someone like God would be satisfied with the amount had he been given the offer. Such a love only one can wish for. An amount that can only mean that it's endless because God would want you to love Him endlessly. The second stanza sheds light on the pain that this lover also leaves behind. The lover puts boundaries on the pain that the speaker feels and the speaker compares it to the wideness or spaciousness of the sea; furthermore the speaker clarifies that the lines are drawn between eternity and time. The speaker wants to put an image to the void felt when the lover left so the speaker uses images to paint a picture for the reader to comprehend the amount of pain left.
The poem is about the two sides of love and the speaker describes each side with such vivid and extreme images to clarify the intensity of each side. Love is a two sided thing in my opinion. With the joy comes the pain. And though the love left behind was so satisfying, it also left such a large hole of pain. The poem's last line creates a deeper sense of the boundaries of pain. "Your consciousness and me" leaves an imprint on the reader. It brings the poem more meaning and depth rather it being just another love poem, it brings some thought. I looked at the last line and it made me think about the real intensity of the pain. Much of attention was focused on the last part of the poem because of that line.

2 Comments:

Blogger Niel said...

While reading this poem, I was struck with the thought of how true the poem is to real life. With great love comes great pain, and you cannot have one without the other. If there is great love in a relationship, then there will always be a great pain if anything tragic occurs. Death, loss, or departure from the love are all things that can cause poignant feelings-but are of course worth the great love that can be associated with an amazing relationship.

1:32 PM  
Blogger John Park said...

I am really moved by this poem. It's so short but it says so much. If I ever lost someone very close to me I don't know what I would do. But that is the circle of life, and life is filled with happiness and tragedy-it's how you deal with it that counts.

4:30 AM  

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