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Sleepless Analysis

Author: Poetry of Sarah Teasdale Type: Poetry Views: 1896

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If I could have your arms tonight-
But half the world and the broken sea
Lie between you and me.

The autumn rain reverberates in the courtyard,
Beating all night against the barren stone,
The sound of useless rain in the desolate courtyard
Makes me more alone.

If you were here, if you were only here-
My blood cries out to you all night in vain
As sleepless as the rain.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Image echos Emotion :.

This here bit 'o' verse is what we in the litteracher business calls a "sandwich poem" - Sarah opens the idea in the first three lines, gives 'er free rein in the middle portion, and wraps it up all nice and snug in the last. First and last verses have similar structure 'n' rhyme to hammer that in to all you slowcoaches out there.

By saying "If I could have your arms tonight," lil Sarah gives us the whole story in the first line. She wants this guy in arms reach, and since he's not, she just isn't feeling the love. And the word there is feeling - this is a feel poem. Tactile. Oh, yes.

Since Joe isn't around, Sarah begins to colour the distance between them in. Now, I get the feeling that Joe may be only a county away, or across the pond, but Sarah makes it "half the world, and the broken sea" - the broken sea, mind. Since it's between them it doesn't MATTER what it's really like. She makes the sea a disjointed thing, like a chasm or a violent storm.

That second verse gives us rain in a courtyard. Except when Joe ain't there, what we're really seeing is Sarah without Joe, framed by Rain in a courtyard. She can't put words on how she feels inside, so she puts 'em on that courtyard there. The rain's just rain. The yard's a yard, no more or less. But Sarah's seeing uselessness and barren desolation. The sound makes her "more alone" - but we know that reverberation is just the rain forced to echo back her heart's beating.

And as we swing into the last bit, she brings it back together. First line echoes the first line of the top stanza, second rephrases the response. Again with tactile - she doesn't miss him with her head, or even her heart. It's the blood, eh?

I dunno, sounds like sissy girl poetry to me.

| Posted on 2005-12-04 | by Th_Plonk

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