'Unobtainable' by Hugo Williams
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Whether it was putting in an extra beat,
or leaving one out, I couldn't tell.
My heart seemed to have forgotten
everything it ever knew
about timing and co-ordination
in its efforts to get through to someone
on the other side of a wall.
As I lay in bed, I could hear it
hammering away inside my pillow,
being answered now and then
by a distant guitar-note of bedsprings,
pausing for a moment, as if listening,
Then hurrying on as before.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Unobtainable: A Poem That Explores the Pain of Love and Loss
Have you ever loved someone with your whole heart, only to have them slip away from you like sand through your fingertips? Have you ever yearned for something so intensely that it consumes you, body and soul, making it impossible to focus on anything else? If you have, then you will understand the sentiment of Hugo Williams' poem "Unobtainable," which explores the pain of love and loss in a way that is both raw and beautiful.
At its core, "Unobtainable" is a poem about a man who is hopelessly in love with a woman who is out of his reach. The speaker of the poem is consumed by his desire for her, and he longs for her in a way that is both heartbreaking and all-consuming. He describes her as "unobtainable," and it is clear that he knows that he can never have her, no matter how much he may want her.
The poem is divided into four stanzas, each of which explores a different aspect of the speaker's love for the unobtainable woman. In the first stanza, he describes how he is consumed by his desire for her, and how he can think of nothing else but her. He says that he has tried to distract himself with other things, but that nothing can take his mind off of her. He is trapped in his love for her, and he cannot escape it.
The second stanza is perhaps the most beautiful and poignant part of the poem. Here, the speaker describes how he sees the woman everywhere he goes, even when she is not physically present. He says that he can see her in the sky, in the sea, and in the landscape around him. She is everywhere, and he cannot escape her presence. This stanza is particularly effective because it captures the universal experience of being haunted by the memory of someone you love, even when they are no longer with you.
The third stanza is more introspective, as the speaker reflects on his own feelings and motivations. He says that he loves the woman because she represents all of the things that he is not. She is beautiful, graceful, and elegant, while he is clumsy, awkward, and unsure of himself. He feels that by loving her, he can somehow absorb some of her qualities and become a better person himself. This is a common experience in love, where we often seek to improve ourselves by being with someone who we admire.
The final stanza is perhaps the most heartbreaking, as the speaker acknowledges that he can never have the woman he loves. He says that she is "unobtainable," and that he must resign himself to the fact that he will never be with her. This is a tragic moment, as the speaker must confront the reality of his situation and accept that his love will never be reciprocated.
Overall, "Unobtainable" is a beautifully written poem that captures the pain and longing of unrequited love. Hugo Williams is a master of language, and his use of imagery and metaphor is both evocative and powerful. The poem is a testament to the enduring nature of love, even in the face of impossible odds, and it is a reminder that sometimes the things we want most in life are also the things that are most impossible to obtain.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Unobtainable: A Poem of Longing and Regret
Hugo Williams' poem "Unobtainable" is a hauntingly beautiful piece that explores the themes of unrequited love, longing, and regret. The poem is a reflection on a past relationship that the speaker cannot forget, even though it has been years since it ended. In this analysis, we will delve deeper into the meaning of the poem and explore the literary devices used by the poet to convey his message.
The poem begins with the speaker stating that he has been dreaming of his former lover. He describes her as "unobtainable," suggesting that she is out of reach and beyond his grasp. The use of this word sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it conveys a sense of longing and unfulfilled desire. The speaker is aware that he cannot have what he wants, but he cannot help but dream of it anyway.
The second stanza of the poem describes the speaker's memories of his former lover. He remembers the way she used to dress, the way she smelled, and the sound of her voice. These memories are vivid and detailed, suggesting that the speaker has not forgotten his former lover despite the passage of time. The use of sensory imagery in this stanza is particularly effective, as it allows the reader to imagine what the speaker is experiencing.
In the third stanza, the speaker reflects on the reasons why his former lover was unobtainable. He suggests that she was too good for him, and that he was not worthy of her love. He describes himself as "a poor boy," suggesting that he was not wealthy or successful enough to win her affection. This stanza is particularly poignant, as it conveys the speaker's sense of regret and self-doubt.
The fourth stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful. The speaker describes a dream in which he and his former lover are reunited. In the dream, they are happy and in love, and the speaker feels as though he has finally obtained what he has been longing for. However, the dream is short-lived, and the speaker wakes up to the reality that his former lover is still unobtainable. This stanza is particularly effective because it conveys the speaker's sense of hopelessness and despair.
The final stanza of the poem is a reflection on the speaker's current state of mind. He suggests that he is still dreaming of his former lover, and that he cannot escape the memories of their past relationship. The use of the word "haunted" in this stanza is particularly effective, as it conveys a sense of the speaker being tormented by his memories.
Throughout the poem, Williams uses a number of literary devices to convey his message. One of the most effective devices is imagery. The use of sensory imagery in the second stanza, for example, allows the reader to imagine what the speaker is experiencing. Similarly, the use of the word "haunted" in the final stanza creates a vivid image of the speaker being tormented by his memories.
Another effective device used by Williams is repetition. The use of the word "unobtainable" throughout the poem creates a sense of longing and unfulfilled desire. Similarly, the repetition of the phrase "I dreamt" in the fourth stanza emphasizes the speaker's sense of hopelessness and despair.
Finally, Williams uses symbolism to convey his message. The use of the word "poor" in the third stanza, for example, symbolizes the speaker's sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. Similarly, the dream in the fourth stanza can be seen as a symbol of the speaker's desire for something that he knows he cannot have.
In conclusion, "Unobtainable" is a powerful poem that explores the themes of unrequited love, longing, and regret. Through the use of imagery, repetition, and symbolism, Williams conveys the speaker's sense of hopelessness and despair. The poem is a poignant reflection on the human experience of longing for something that is out of reach, and serves as a reminder that sometimes, the things we want most are the things we can never have.
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