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Buried Life, The Analysis



Author: Poetry of Matthew Arnold Type: Poetry Views: 2378

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Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,

Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!

I feel a nameless sadness o'er me roll.

Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,

We know, we know that we can smile!

But there's a something in this breast,

To which thy light words bring no rest,

And thy gay smiles no anodyne.

Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,

And turn those limpid eyes on mine,

And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.



Alas! is even love too weak

To unlock the heart, and let it speak?

Are even lovers powerless to reveal

To one another what indeed they feel?

I knew the mass of men conceal'd

Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd

They would by other men be met

With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;

I knew they lived and moved

Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest

Of men, and alien to themselves--and yet

The same heart beats in every human breast!



But we, my love!--doth a like spell benumb

Our hearts, our voices?--must we too be dumb?



Ah! well for us, if even we,

Even for a moment, can get free

Our heart, and have our lips unchain'd;

For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain'd!



Fate, which foresaw

How frivolous a baby man would be--

By what distractions he would be possess'd,

How he would pour himself in every strife,

And well-nigh change his own identity--

That it might keep from his capricious play

His genuine self, and force him to obey

Even in his own despite his being's law,

Bade through the deep recesses of our breast

The unregarded river of our life

Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;

And that we should not see

The buried stream, and seem to be

Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,

Though driving on with it eternally.



But often, in the world's most crowded streets,

But often, in the din of strife,

There rises an unspeakable desire

After the knowledge of our buried life;

A thirst to spend our fire and restless force

In tracking out our true, original course;

A longing to inquire

Into the mystery of this heart which beats

So wild, so deep in us--to know

Whence our lives come and where they go.

And many a man in his own breast then delves,

But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.

And we have been on many thousand lines,

And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;

But hardly have we, for one little hour,

Been on our own line, have we been ourselves--

Hardly had skill to utter one of all

The nameless feelings that course through our breast,

But they course on for ever unexpress'd.

And long we try in vain to speak and act

Our hidden self, and what we say and do

Is eloquent, is well--but 't#is not true!

And then we will no more be rack'd

With inward striving, and demand

Of all the thousand nothings of the hour

Their stupefying power;

Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!

Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,

From the soul's subterranean depth upborne

As from an infinitely distant land,

Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey

A melancholy into all our day.

Only--but this is rare--

When a belov{'e}d hand is laid in ours,

When, jaded with the rush and glare

Of the interminable hours,

Our eyes can in another's eyes read clear,

When our world-deafen'd ear

Is by the tones of a loved voice caress'd--

A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,

And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.

The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,

And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.

A man becomes aware of his life's flow,

And hears its winding murmur; and he sees

The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.



And there arrives a lull in the hot race

Wherein he doth for ever chase

That flying and elusive shadow, rest.

An air of coolness plays upon his face,

And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.

And then he thinks he knows

The hills where his life rose,

And the sea where it goes.








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

.: :.

the writer of this poem at this time, felt as if how we all feel somepoint in our lives.
He was obvioulsy lost, and looking for answers, and found them but only within himself. He learned that, we all have a heart that feels, and feels differnt things but we cant act on them because of the aniexty that comes along with being honest. So when he felt the way he did, he realized that he had a reason to live, and his reason was to feel. And the feeling that he thrived for was to feel alive. Not for proving himself, but to be honest with himself.

| Posted on 2013-07-17 | by a guest


.: :.

When I read this kinds of poems I feel inspired immediately, but that inspiration decreases more and more as I live my life.. I\'m thinking this is right, it is well said, but is not natural, because it is human nature for people to be not perfect, because of survival in this world, and because technology makes our life easier and easier, we don\'t have to think how to survive but we start to think about some perfect feelings which actually are not long-lasting...
I really find myself very often on crossroads about this topic of human philosophy... I guess the answer would be: Let REASON (conscience) lead your way, Let sense be your light! When you feel something, no matter what it is, stay in the light which we are provided by our conscience and if we feel like we want to exclude conscience from doing that particular activity, than the activity is not worth at all, because it divides our strength and being..

| Posted on 2010-12-30 | by a guest


.: :.

First comment is inspiring. Isn't it weird how it appears so much easier to live life in this zombie like state instead of tuning into reality? The consequences of this are always negative tho. What is especially hard to understand and practice is this notion of becoming aware of BOTH the good and the bad. Sometimes it takes tuning into the bad in order to recognize the good. I was intrigued on how he described so eloquently this process of tuning in.

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


.: :.

the writer of this poem at this time, felt as if how we all feel somepoint in our lives.
He was obvioulsy lost, and looking for answers, and found them but only within himself. He learned that, we all have a heart that feels, and feels differnt things but we cant act on them because of the aniexty that comes along with being honest. So when he felt the way he did, he realized that he had a reason to live, and his reason was to feel. And the feeling that he thrived for was to feel alive. Not for proving himself, but to be honest with himself.

| Posted on 2010-02-03 | by a guest


.: My Impression :.

Bearing in mind the Victorian era- the production of the poem, we get a sense in finding that ‘behind the satisfaction in the industrial and political preeminence of England during the period, they also suffered from an anxious sense of something lost, a sense too of being displaced persons in a world made alien by technological changes which had been exploited too quickly for the adaptive powers of the human psyche. ‘
(The Norton Anthology of English Literature, p.1891, Abrams, et al)
That lost something is what we easily recognize in The Buried Life By Arnold. The speaker in the poem fails to understand the people around him, accusing them of hypocrisy. He generalizes this theme and distinguishes that within himself as well. He finds out that no one can express his true self and if he does try, it is drown at red ink. An intermittent strain of gloominess will now and then haunt him and the nothingness wags human heart. The only redeemer is a beloved who frees him. Her Love can not only rescue our very miserable from world’s abyss, but can even give him a recognition and knowledge of his own path in life, and answer him where he is supposed to go- though Arnold never answers the question in the poem.
Considering his significant temperament of resignation and his alien attitudes in not standing people because they act not by their true selves, how can this person find love in another? He does emphasis on the importance of love in life, but he refrains to elaborate on it. . ‘A loved-voice caressed our world-deafened ear’ he remarks. But I am not sure he won’t include his loved one to his black image of others after the tension of love fades away?
By his own logic, as Melancholy comes to man time to time, I would say that his very love is not to abide much in his heart and it is doomed to decay, although it might amuse him for some time, But if he will for the rest of his life. And of course that everything rests on the will of people.



| Posted on 2006-06-11 | by Approved Guest




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