Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The sweetest songs are those that telleth the saddest tales

These two poems, IMO, have a vague sense of similarity. Although both of them have the context of love and loss, the former rationalizes the loss and finds ways to acceptance while the latter expresses the bitter-sweetness of remembrance.

The first poem, by Emily Dickinson, sees the positivities of loss, but in two distinct ways. The first paragraph explains the loss of love in a simple positive way - 'Yes the drought is bad, but I once had the dew' - in essence the concept that to have had lost something means that that something was once had. And I say that's healthy because the order is 'destitute, but' and not the other way around. The second paragraph shifts focus to the eventuality of loss and thereby providing a higher meaning to 'something that once was' - 'The sea has its own limits and the boundary of land (sand), but without which there wouldn't be any sea too'

To lose thee – sweeter than to gain
All other hearts I knew.
‘Tis true the drought is destitute,
But then, I had the dew! 
The Caspian has its realms of sand,
Its other realm of sea.
Without the sterile perquisite,
No Caspian could be.
-Emily Dickinson

No explanation of this Sara Teasdale poem can capture the meaning that has been so simply expressed in the poem itself.

Stephen kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all. 
Stephen’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day. 
-Sara Teasdale

As I struggle to explain in so many words just my interpretation of the poems, I truly realize the might of poetry to express huge concept in fewer, sweeter words.

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