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Poetry Analysis: “Love is not all” Essay

Poetry reveals the emotions of the speaker. It will give happy thoughts if the speaker is happy but the opposite if the speaker is sad. Poems exist because of emotional certainties and uncertainties. That is why poems are more ideal and complex rather than other forms of literary pieces. The poem entitled “Love is not all” by Edna St. Vincent Millay discusses the meaning of love. The whole poem wants to say the truth about love – the destiny of people and how humans treat love at all.

There are also different emerging figurative languages throughout the poem, which discusses the problems and dilemma of being in love. Therefore, the theme of this poem is love as it unravels the sadness and deepness of affection through metaphorical justification of the speaker’s emotions. The speaker of this poem wants to convey one thing – love is not perfect. He wants to justify his emotions through the different experiences in his life. Based on the message of the poem, the speaker is a man who wants to share his distress, defeat, and fall in loving his woman.

The speaker compares love to a drink, meat, roof, floating spar, air, and medicine. These things symbolize many concepts that strengthen the idea and context of love. Drink and meat symbolize life, roof symbolizes shed or shelter, a floating par symbolizes life saver, air symbolizes breath, and medicine symbolizes cure. “Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink / Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; / Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink / And rise and sink and rise and sink again; (St.

Vincent Millay, 1-4). ” All these ideas give life to humans but the point of the speaker is not to strengthen the idea of love but stating that love is not about living but dying. The poem is an irony of love as a source of life and comfort. The speaker wants to share that love is not as ideal as it can be. It is not like giving all the good things to obtain happiness because the speaker feels that love is like facing to death. The speaker wants to shed tears as he describes his experiences in love but he could not.

“Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, / Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; / Yet many a man is making friends with death (St. Vincent Millay, 5-7). ” This part of the poem emphasizes the paradoxical concept of love where it could not provide life or saver to one’s body. Love is not selfless but selfish based on the description of the speaker. Therefore, it can be said that affection is not feeling like in heaven but almost in hell according to the speaker. Love gives you happiness when you fall in love but it gives you death when it breaks your heart.

This is what the poem is from the beginning up to the end. “I might be driven to sell your love for peace, / Or trade the memory of this night for food. / It well may be. I do not think I would (St. Vincent Millay, 1-4). ” However, in the end of the poem, the speaker himself accepts the fact that he could not fight against his love because his affection revolves around his woman. It only means that the speaker loves his woman so deeply that he could accept and endure the pain and sorrow but will not ever maker her suffer after almost killing the man by breaking his heart.

In conclusion to this, the poem shows its main point in the beginning. In this case, the succeeding lines are only justifications of speaker’s emotions. In the end, the struggles and sufferings of the speaker still fades after feeling that he could not take any revenge against his woman because behind all the hatred and anguish against love, he still has his affection towards his love that no one could ever contain. Reference St. Vincent Millay, E. “Love is not all. ”


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