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Pity Me Not Because The Light Of Day Analysis

Author: poem of Edna St. Vincent Millay Type: poem Views: 6

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Pity me not because the light of day

At close of day no longer walks the sky;

Pity me not for beauties passed away

From field and thicket as the the year goes by;

Pity me not the waning of the moon,

Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,

Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon,

And you no longer look with love on me.

This have I known always: Love is no more

Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,

Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,

Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:

Pity me that the heart is slow to learn

What the swift mind beholds at ever turn


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

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Thaank you every1
Helped me for my O\'s
Love from Pakistan

| Posted on 2011-05-14 | by a guest

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the way the poet deciphers love gives a totaly different outlook towards it.
love most commonly described as an infatuation ar strong feeling, Millay however describes love as \'field to thicket\'
the reader is moved to empathise with the poet.
she effectively uses imegery to convey the \'ebbing\' of love.
from reading the poem, the reader gets a feel that its not the first time her heart has let her down \'this i have known always\', but she keeps letting her emotions get in the way hence the \'pity me not\'

| Posted on 2011-05-11 | by a guest

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this poem is basically bases on the power of woman at that time where they were used just to have sex oe physical relation and there is no respect for womans emotins at that time. she falled in love but the apposite sex left her and she was jst helpless where she tries and explain her heart to forget him and move on ahead but when ever she tried to this she hurts herself.

| Posted on 2011-05-01 | by a guest

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This poem is sad, yet interesting as the reader is so captivated by the sorrow of this woman that he momentarily feels as though his life bears no problems at all.

| Posted on 2011-02-16 | by a guest

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I think that this poem could just be about how she does not know how to react to her relationship with some men, as she was known for \'sleeping around\'.
It could also just be her regretting what [who] she has done and wish she could just take it all back.
She relays all of these messages through nature.
Don\'t lie, this is an amazing comment...
Peace out.

| Posted on 2010-12-20 | by a guest

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Thankyou this has helped me immensly for my ncea level one exam.

| Posted on 2010-11-15 | by a guest

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I think that this peom is beautiful, the most beautiful peom i have read. The \'Pitty me not\' speech, makes you feel sorry for the poet, it feels like they are putting you on the spot. it is really and trully great to have expirence the time to read this wonderful peom
Imogen Henry
Ascension island

| Posted on 2010-09-30 | by a guest

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The poem shows the fading of love portrayed through the use of nature. We see that nearly all love is due to die.

| Posted on 2010-09-18 | by a guest

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‘Sonnet 29’ by Edna St Vincent Millay was written in the early 20th century when women were not given the respect and rights that they are given today. She was well known for have love affairs with several men during her life, which probably gave her the idea that the idealised role of a woman in a relationship was for too ‘stereotyped’ and far from the truth. However, around this time, the suffragettes were starting to come into existence and displayed what Millay’s poem was really all about, the fact that women weren’t just objects, that the ‘Victorian’ ideas of women (‘be seen and not heard’ and so on) are strong implications in ‘Sonnet 29’.
The poem starts off with the strong phrase, ‘Pity me not’. This short phrase really gives the sense of scorn for her previous lover as if she no longer wants anything to do with him. As this phrase is repeated three more times, we get the idea that she is trying to shake off the ‘Victorian ideology’ of women that they are weak and cannot cope with small tragedies all the time. However, in the poem, Millay is saying that just because her former lover left her, she is not ‘weak and frail’ enough to let it cripple her. She is trying to put across the point that women can easily shake something like this off.
Millay uses the effective metaphor of her relationship, ‘From field to thicket as the year goes by;’ this is an incredibly powerful metaphor for her relationship as it becomes quite easy to associate love with it. For example, when Millay got into this relationship, it was (at first) very exciting, new and a beautiful thing, hence it was like a beautiful field. However, as time wore on, the relationship became less interesting, presumably arguments started to happen or they simply grew tired of each other, hence the beautiful field turning into an ugly thicket. It also has the meaning that the two people simply didn’t want to care for each other. This is shown in the metaphor as the ‘field’ needs to be cared for and maintained for it to remain a nice ‘field’. However, the ‘thicket’ is simply what happens to a field when you leave it alone and do not bother to take care, just like the relationship here. This symbolises the ‘Love never lasts’ approach to things which does seem quite close to real life. After all, very few relationships end up with perfect harmony. ‘…as the year goes by…’represents the ‘honeymoon period’ of a relationship where everything is happy, both people love each other very much and so on. Millay is simply showing that all relationships will come to an untidy end somehow, as the love fades gradually.
The actual fragility of love is displayed in ‘Sonnet 29’ on line seven as Millay writes, ‘Nor that a man’s desire is hushed so soon.’ This really is explicit in describing men, seemingly in general, as someone who is unable to have a full and steady relationship without his ‘desire’ being ‘hushed so soon’. This is one of her more explicit moments in the poem. This quote also enforces the idea of the ‘honeymoon period’ and that love will always die away at the end of the day.
Millay describes love in the metaphor, ‘Love is no more….Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore, Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales.’ Here Millay compares love to a ‘great tide,’ something that is actually powerful and amazing, yet also destructive and angry. Here, we see from the context of the poem, both descriptions come in. Love is a very powerful thing and to mess around with it can have some serious consequences. It affects everyone it comes into contact with and can change lives incredibly quickly. Also, the ‘anger and destructiveness’ of love is very clearly seen here as love causes a fair bit of destruction as the whole poem is about a relationship based on love breaking down and falling apart. We do not know the reason for this, but we ca n probably assume that love simply failed here, and destroyed two peoples lives instead.
When Millay writes, ‘Strewing fresh wreckage in the sea,’ she is probably referring to her relationship. The fresh wreckage is the recently destroyed metaphor of her love towards her partner. Like the previous metaphors illustrate, love never lasts, eventually, it will break down and die. This ‘wreckage’ we are pictured is the relationship that has just failed.
The last two lines, a rhyming couplet, really end the poem on somewhat of a deeply personal view of the matter. With all the metaphors and similes about how love has failed her, it does seem quite out of place that she would suddenly say, ‘Pity me when the heart is slow to learn When the swift mind beholds at every turn.’ Here, this is the only point where she reveals some form of weakness in her by admitting that she still loves him, ‘the heart is slow to learn,’ and that she can do nothing about it. She admits that she may be able to control her actions, but she cannot control her emotions, and she still loves him. Another idea could be that the heart does not want to think, about dangers. The heart is so trusting and because of that trust, gets hurt. The heart is naive. The mind knows better, the mind thinks about motives and feelings and is therefore described by Millay as swift as it can think and act much faster than anything else.
In all, ‘Sonnet 29’ is an unfortunate poem about when love fails and breaks down, affecting those seemingly close to us. It is a sad story about one woman trying to cope with all that is going on with this failed relationship. It was trying to show that a woman (whom at that time in history, were looked down on) had just as many, possibly even more emotions where it come to things like love. It was showing that women simply are not love objects to fall in love with for a while and then leave alone. A woman is a human.

| Posted on 2010-06-15 | by a guest

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I really like the comparisons throughout the poem.
They make the reader
It sounds beautiful as Edna is emphasing on 'pity me not.'

| Posted on 2010-05-04 | by a guest

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In sonnet 29, Millay shows us that she knows that, nature dies –that love dies. She knows that there are some things that can’t be stopped in nature and we cannot stop it no matter how hard we try; she tries to link the actions of nature to the love of human beings.
Millay begins by stating that she knows that the sun goes down – this is natural, ‘the light of day at close of day no longer walks the sky’. This is trying to convey that, we know that the light of day will fade and it is not saddening for us anymore; It is natural for the sun to fade and darkness to set in. This can be attributed to the love that many people know – It may be bright and beautiful, but at some point, sooner or later, love fades or dies. To emphasise the regularity of the occurrence of fading light, Millay uses the verb ‘walks’, this shows us the regular and definite happening of this – it is in some way unavoidable.
She then carries on the idea of nature dying and becoming less and less beautiful, ‘beauties passed away from field and thicket’; this shows us that the magic and beauty of nature soon dies as ‘the year goes by’ (winter sets in – death is inevitable and we’ve become used to it). Millay’s use of nature to portray what we also seem to find inevitable in love, is a complex and effective way for us to truly grasp the idea of the loss or the fading of love itself.
Millay again refers to nature as fading, dying, vanishing. She uses the ‘waning of the moon’ and the ‘ebbing tide’ to show this. These images of nature dissipating paints pictures in our minds, we are more intrigued now by the fact that these saddening things are so accepted, so normal. We now think is the death and waning of love sad? Or is it just expected to happen sooner or later?
However, Millay soon introduces direct references to love itself into the poem, ‘a man’s desire is hushed so soon’. Millay has given us the context in which to read this line with. We see that she believes love should fade slowly, yet in this sentence she finds that love (or at least her love) was diminished too early – the sun had set too soon. The fact that their love was ‘hushed’ conveys an image of a flame extinguishing or something falling to sleep – Their love had burned out too quickly.
She then takes a different tone in the third quatrain. The tone is much more angry, rather than sad as it had been in the past quatrains. She begins to state what she thinks about love and she uses metaphors to do with nature to describe her feeling towards what happens to love. She uses the metaphor of a ‘wide blossom’ to show her feelings towards love. She finds love attractive, pure and loving; something delicate and cherished – something that allows hope and happiness to be felt like the blossom. But on the other hand, she shows what she thinks happens to love, ‘the wide blossom which the wind assails’. She knows that love, however glorious and beautiful, is going to be tested. If the blossom is not attached properly, does not have a strong bond with the flower, it will be blown away and will crash to the ground. This tries to show that if love is not true and strong. If the love connection is not bonded greatly enough, the love will fall apart. It will separate and the people will be pulled apart by this great assailing wind; or in the case of love – harsh circumstances. Millay also tries to convey that not all love is great, some love is short lived, it is fleeting and is quickly diminished, just like the blossoms that have brought beauty to the tree, only to be blown away when the wind attacks it.
Millay then uses a different metaphor of nature to again, convey her feelings towards love. Millay describes love as a ‘great tide’, tides are seen as powerful and great but it can also be seen as destructive and angry. This metaphor shows that love can be seen as this beautiful tide, powerful and almighty. But love can also hurt people and tear them down because, if the wave – in this case love, becomes angered, it will hurt the people in and around it. She then shows this tide to be treading ‘the shifting shore’. The fact that the word ‘treads’ was used is in direct contrast of the ‘walk’ used in the first line of the poem. We find that the poem is angrier and that love has become dangerous and enraged. The tide treads ‘the shifting shore’, the shifting shore could be a representation of the different circumstances love is put in. It also conveys that love is not stable, it is always moving and changing for good and for bad.
The last sentence before the Volta is a striking one. She carries on the metaphor of the ‘great tide’, but this time love is represented as a shipwreck. Millay tries to show the readers that when love dies, sometimes it ends in destruction and disaster. ‘strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales’, this shows that love has been through a storm (the ‘gales’) and the gales represent the attacks on love by circumstance and other factors which affect the outcome of a love. Love, in this case, has been ripped apart like a ship wreck, yet at the same time gathered up by the storm. This line suggests violence and tension in the love, like a ship being attacked by a storm. It also shows that when love is broken down, all of the pain and broken bits are shoved together after being ripped apart therefore, you can feel the pain after the love is gone because, the pain has gathered like a storm in your heart.

| Posted on 2010-02-09 | by a guest

.: Pity me not :.

So beautifully is said, there are many things I suffer for which you may have sorrow, but spare me the worst one, and that is although I am smart and can be glib and answer wisely, my heart is smarter and knows the truth and will suffer more and more, because it cannot, nor will not listen to my all-too-deceptive mind. It knows the truth. Grief takes a long time and can't be glibly talked away.

| Posted on 2007-05-15 | by a guest

.: Poem by Edna St Vincent M :.

I love this poem because no matter what changes, and many things do, (tide, moon, sun goes down, wind blows etc.) She realizes "the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at ever turn" The heart does not want to think, about dangers. The heart is so trusting and becuase of that trust, gets hurt. The heart is nieve. The mind knows better, the mind thinks about motives, and feelings and is swift.

| Posted on 2007-03-12 | by a guest

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