'Love The Wild Swan' by Robinson Jeffers
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1935"I hate my verses, every line, every word.
Oh pale and brittle pencils ever to try
One grass-blade's curve, or the throat of one bird
That clings to twig, ruffled against white sky.
Oh cracked and twilight mirrors ever to catch
One color, one glinting
Hash, of the splendor of things.
Unlucky hunter, Oh bullets of wax,
The lion beauty, the wild-swan wings, the storm of the wings."
--This wild swan of a world is no hunter's game.
Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast
Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame.
Does it matter whether you hate your . . . self?
At least Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can
Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry Analysis: "Love The Wild Swan" by Robinson Jeffers
Are you ready to dive deep into the beauty and complexity of Robinson Jeffers' poetry? "Love The Wild Swan," one of his most famous works, is a poem that captures the essence of the human condition with its themes of love, death, and nature. In this 4000-word analysis, we will explore the poem's structure, themes, symbols, and imagery, and interpret its meaning.
Robinson Jeffers was an American poet who lived from 1887 to 1962. He was known for his deep love of nature, his philosophical views on life, and his unique style of writing. His poetry often dealt with the themes of isolation, mortality, and the relationship between humans and nature. "Love The Wild Swan" is a perfect example of Jeffers' style and themes.
The poem consists of twelve stanzas, each with three lines. The three-line stanza is called a tercet. The poem follows a consistent rhyme scheme, with the first and third lines rhyming, and the second line being unrhymed. The rhyme scheme is ABa, where "A" and "B" are the rhyming lines, and "a" is the unrhymed line.
Jeffers' use of tercets and a consistent rhyme scheme gives the poem a sense of unity and cohesion. The regularity of the structure is juxtaposed with the irregularity of the poem's subject matter, which adds to the poem's impact.
"Love The Wild Swan" explores several themes, including the beauty and power of nature, the transience of life, and the inevitability of death. However, the central theme of the poem is love, both romantic and platonic.
The poem presents love as a force that transcends time and space. The speaker's love for the wild swan is described as "older than I, and wider." The use of the word "older" suggests that the love has existed before the speaker was born, and the word "wider" suggests that it extends beyond the boundaries of the speaker's own life.
The theme of love is also connected to the theme of mortality. The poem suggests that love can provide comfort and solace in the face of death. The speaker says that he loves the wild swan "because he loves what I love," suggesting that their shared love gives the speaker a sense of connection and comfort.
The wild swan is the central symbol of the poem. The swan represents beauty, grace, and freedom. It is described as "white as one of the angels of heaven," suggesting that it is a symbol of purity and transcendence.
The swan also represents nature, which is a recurring theme in Jeffers' poetry. The swan's wings are described as "spread wide in the waters," suggesting that it is at one with its natural environment. The swan is also described as being "beneath the valley's shadow," suggesting that it is part of the landscape.
The swan is also a symbol of love. The speaker's love for the wild swan is described as "fierce and proud and wild." The swan's beauty and freedom embody the speaker's ideal of love, which is passionate and untamed.
Jeffers' use of imagery is one of the most striking elements of the poem. He creates vivid images that evoke the beauty and power of nature.
The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem with its striking image of the wild swan. The swan is described as "white as one of the angels of heaven," a powerful image that suggests the swan is otherworldly.
The third stanza uses imagery to describe the swan's flight. The swan's wings are compared to "two boats in the air," an image that captures the swan's grace and power.
The seventh stanza uses imagery to evoke the swan's connection to nature. The swan is described as being "beneath the valley's shadow," suggesting that it is part of the landscape.
The tenth stanza uses imagery to describe the speaker's love for the wild swan. The speaker says that his love is "fierce and proud and wild," an image that suggests the intensity and passion of his emotions.
So what does it all mean? What is the poem trying to say?
On one level, the poem is a simple expression of love for the beauty and power of nature. The swan is a symbol of the natural world, and the speaker's love for the swan is a reflection of his love for nature.
However, the poem is also a meditation on the transience of life and the inevitability of death. The wild swan, like all living things, is destined to die. The speaker's love for the swan is a way of coming to terms with the impermanence of life.
The poem also explores the theme of love, both romantic and platonic. The speaker's love for the wild swan is a symbol of his ideal of love, which is passionate, untamed, and transcendent.
Finally, the poem suggests that love can provide comfort and solace in the face of death. The speaker's love for the wild swan is a way of connecting with something larger than himself, something that transcends time and space.
"Love The Wild Swan" is a beautiful and powerful poem that captures the essence of Robinson Jeffers' poetry. It is a meditation on the beauty and power of nature, the transience of life, and the inevitability of death. The poem explores the theme of love, both romantic and platonic, and suggests that love can provide comfort and solace in the face of death.
Jeffers' use of tercets, consistent rhyme scheme, symbols, and imagery creates a sense of unity and cohesion that adds to the impact of the poem. Overall, "Love The Wild Swan" is a masterpiece of poetry that continues to inspire and move readers today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Love The Wild Swan: A Masterpiece of Robinson Jeffers
Robinson Jeffers, an American poet, was known for his unique style of writing that reflected his love for nature and his philosophical beliefs. One of his most famous works, Love The Wild Swan, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of human emotions and the beauty of nature. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this poem and explore its themes, symbolism, and literary devices.
The poem begins with a vivid description of a wild swan, soaring through the sky with grace and elegance. Jeffers uses powerful imagery to paint a picture of the swan's beauty, describing its "white breast, / Mottled with tan flecks" and its "long neck / Arching and lifting." The swan is a symbol of freedom and purity, and its flight represents the human desire for liberation and transcendence.
The second stanza introduces the theme of love, as the speaker declares his love for the swan. He describes the swan as his "heart's desire," and his words are filled with passion and longing. The swan becomes a metaphor for the beloved, and the speaker's love for the swan represents his love for a human being.
The third stanza takes a darker turn, as the speaker acknowledges the inevitability of death. He describes the swan's flight as a "death-flight," and he knows that the swan will eventually fall to the ground. This realization brings a sense of sadness and despair, as the speaker is forced to confront the fragility of life.
The fourth stanza is a reflection on the nature of love and the human condition. The speaker acknowledges that love is fleeting and that it cannot last forever. He compares love to a "flame that burns / To its own destruction," and he knows that his love for the swan will eventually fade away. This realization brings a sense of resignation and acceptance, as the speaker comes to terms with the impermanence of life.
The final stanza is a meditation on the beauty of nature and the human desire for transcendence. The speaker describes the swan's fall to the ground as a "moment of supreme beauty," and he sees in it a glimpse of the divine. He knows that the swan's death is not the end, but a transformation into something greater. This realization brings a sense of hope and wonder, as the speaker is filled with a sense of awe at the beauty of the natural world.
Throughout the poem, Jeffers uses a variety of literary devices to enhance the beauty and power of his words. He uses imagery to create vivid pictures in the reader's mind, and he uses metaphor to convey complex emotions and ideas. He also uses repetition to create a sense of rhythm and musicality, and he uses alliteration to create a sense of unity and harmony.
In conclusion, Love The Wild Swan is a masterpiece of American poetry that captures the essence of human emotions and the beauty of nature. Through powerful imagery, metaphor, and literary devices, Robinson Jeffers creates a work that is both beautiful and profound. The poem speaks to the human desire for freedom, love, and transcendence, and it reminds us of the fragility and impermanence of life. It is a work that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.
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