Location: toronto, Canada

Ready to hit the world with everything i got.....

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bon Amors

What Should I Say

What should I say
Since faith is dead,
And truth away
From you is fled?
Should I be led
With doubleness?
Nay, nay, Mistress!

I promised you
And you promised me,
To be as true
As I would be;
But since I see
Your double heart,
Farewell my part!

Though for to take
It is not my mind
But to forsake-
I am not blind-
And as I find
So will I trust.
Farewell, unjust!

Can ye say nay?
But you said
That I alway
Should be obeyed;
And thus betrayed
Or that I wist-
Farewell, unkist!

In last weeks lecture we talked about a kind of love or a kind of poetry about love that focued around certain language that portrayed strong feelings. It was a very different kind of love than Sappho's love poetry that was very intense and passionate. This poetry that was brought alive by Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarca was a patient poetry in which a key emotion that usually surfaced in the poetry was a deep yearning for the loved one.
Since Thomas Wyatt was mentioned in lecture as one of the first poets who successfullly translated this type of poetry into english I decided to look at one of his poems. I picked "What ShouldI Say" as my poem because of the title. I find that in any situation where there is a desire for someone the first question asked in our minds or to our friends is, what should I say? or what should I do? I found the title very appropriate and real even today.
After reading the first stanza however I found that this poem was not looking for the words to swoop someone of their feet, but quite the opposite. It seems that this poem is deeling with feelings and ideas of betrayal of faith as is says, "faith is dead." Two negative questions are asked in the stanza, "and truth away from you is fled?", and "should I be led with doubleness?" Though their both questions I think because of the way the questions are asked the speaker knows the answer to both but has not yet accepted the answers. I come to this conclusion also because of the last line of the stanza as it says, "nay, nay mistress." On the other hand it could be that this faith that has been lost between the two was misunderstood. The term mistress means an upper class married woman. A typical characteristic of this type of love poetry can be a false sense of committment and love as the desire is often for a partner already committed.
In the second stanza this promise is uncovered and the relationship at hand is clearly severed. The speaker is coming to the realization that its over ans this is something that I haven't seen too often in this love poetry. Still the strong emotional feelings that are signature to creating this type of poetry are present as this loss leaks into the third stanza. In this stanza it is confirmed that he still will trust as it comes for what was taken was not his mind. The speaker in the poem also feels the need to clearly state that he is not blind, erasing the common stigma that love is blind. I believe this statement as the doubleness of the partner was seen.
Still this last stanza throws a twist and makes me think that the poem is actually about a married couple whose marriage has gone arye instead of a relationship in which one desires a married woman.. I think this because in the last stanza it seems that a vow is repeated as it was said from one to the other, a type of vow that was said in marriage. It starts as if to say........can you deny it? after saying "I will be faithful to you" and then betray. Either way there is a painful emotion to this poem that deals with love and all that it can bring.

Friday, January 07, 2005


I have no complaint

I have no complaint

prosperity that
the golden Muses
gave me was no
delusion: dead, I
won't be forgotten


I was looking over some poems by Sappho and came across this one. I read it over a couple times and though its short and straightforward as far as language, structure etc I'm having difficulty fully understanding it. I was thinking that this poem could possibly have been written at a time when Sappho had asserted her skill in the arts. What the Muses had given her was no delusion, the ability to write influential poetry in a significant time and place. Sappho was able to write in a very unique period in ancient Greece.
The mentioning of death in the poem also interests me eventhough I'm still not sure what is the deeper meaning behing it. Most people I assume, would think that in death they would be forgotten. Sappho on the other hand states that in her death she will be remembered. Is it possible that Sappho had realized that she would be that kind of artist, the kind that is so unique and moving that in life controversy is stirred and in death art is created? The poem sounds confident and strong. Having no complaints seems peaceful and quiet. In fact a lot of poetry is usually about complaints.
This poem is so simple and I don't know what its about. Could it be so simple that it just means literally what it says, or is there something I'm missing? Usually when analyzing I look for literary tools that authors often use to construct a poem such as the rhyme scheme, images etc. This poem doesn't have any of that. At the same time I feel like the poem is tryinig to say a lot in the simple lines. It touches on important subjects like death, rememberance in death, the Muses or faith, and complaints or the nature of humans.