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Isolation : To Marguerite Analysis

Author: Poetry of Matthew Arnold Type: Poetry Views: 1347

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We were apart; yet, day by day,

I bade my heart more constant be.

I bade it keep the world away,

And grow a home for only thee;

Nor fear'd but thy love likewise grew,

Like mine, each day, more tried, more true.

The fault was grave! I might have known,

What far too soon, alas! I learn'd--

The heart can bind itself alone,

And faith may oft be unreturn'd.

Self-sway'd our feelings ebb and swell--

Thou lov'st no more;--Farewell! Farewell!

Farewell!--and thou, thou lonely heart,

Which never yet without remorse

Even for a moment didst depart

From thy remote and spher{`e}d course

To haunt the place where passions reign--

Back to thy solitude again!

Back! with the conscious thrill of shame

Which Luna felt, that summer-night,

Flash through her pure immortal frame,

When she forsook the starry height

To hang over Endymion's sleep

Upon the pine-grown Latmian steep.

Yet she, chaste queen, had never proved

How vain a thing is mortal love,

Wandering in Heaven, far removed.

But thou hast long had place to prove

This truth--to prove, and make thine own:

"Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone."

Or, if not quite alone, yet they

Which touch thee are unmating things--

Ocean and clouds and night and day;

Lorn autumns and triumphant springs;

And life, and others' joy and pain,

And love, if love, of happier men.

Of happier men--for they, at least,

Have dream'd two human hearts might blend

In one, and were through faith released

From isolation without end

Prolong'd; nor knew, although not less

Alone than thou, their loneliness.


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

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| Posted on 2018-03-18 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2018-03-02 | by a guest

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Dis is da bestest poem I ever read. I LUV ARNOLD. U ROCK!

| Posted on 2013-03-18 | by a guest

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to the comment above: he was NOT a Romantic, he was a Victorian poet.

| Posted on 2011-11-22 | by a guest

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I loved and lost - he is gone. Tomorrow is Valentine\'s Day, and I pre-paid at the Tattoo Shop, so I am committed to getting the tattoo. I changed my tattoo to a Chinese Symbol for \"Mortal Love\".
\"And \'how vain is a thing is mortal love?\" This poem lifted me, and helped explain my pain.
What was I thinking? I was fearless and gave love my all... Mortal Love is now in the Heavens.

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest

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In my opinion, the poem does have a theme of isolation, hence the repetitive occurence of the word "alone," however I don't perceive it so much as pessimist, as I do aa reflection of the speaker's frustration with the abscence of his strongest desire:love . Matthew Arnold was an avid humanist; he believed in promoting human welfare and his concern there of. Perhaps he is sharing his own expiriences of the abscence of love to emphasize to readers its importance and vitality to a happy life, which the readerc clearly was unable to obtain.

| Posted on 2010-03-24 | by a guest

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To the last comment: Matthew Arnold wasn't a Romantic, he was a Victorian poet.

| Posted on 2009-11-22 | by a guest

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matthew anold is a great and underrated poet. the poem is not nearly as dark as some of his contemporary Browning's works (which Oscar Wilde deemed 'ugly').
The poem is not full of pessimism, just a general sadness and an explanation why love is the reason we live breathe, and without it we are alone (the last line).
and 'how vain is a thing is mortal love?'
the poem is very true to human emotion, not necessarily taking sides on love and positivity.

| Posted on 2009-10-29 | by a guest

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arnold is a great poet and the first comment is annoying.

| Posted on 2009-03-27 | by a guest

.: review of poem :.

In reading this poem, i see not only the theme of the character's lonliness as a generalization, but also the lonliness as a result of a lost love. Maybe the speaker is not so pessemistic. He could be trying to convey that a life without love is lonesome. Isnt that what our own culture teaches?

| Posted on 2007-05-09 | by a guest

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m arnold was the most pessimistic of the romantics. isolation was what he reflected in his poetry. isolation of his heart from others'. his poetry could never get rid of the theme of loneliness of the individual both socially and emotionally. he did not write like his contemporaries though he is always associated with them. in fact he should be associated with the lost generation of the 1920s or the absurdists of 1950s. i believe he wrote before his time and better than the romantics of his time. still today many do not like or know his poetry as much as tennyson who was a favored victorian by the society. however it is better for him to stay this unknown because he loved isolation.

| Posted on 2005-11-14 | by Approved Guest

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