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viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2011

...Silence and tears...

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"...SILENCE AND TEARS..."


GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824)
WHEN WE TWO PARTED
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-heart
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
And knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes over me
Why were thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long, years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) belonged to the period of romanticism. He was a rebelious man and his life was very scandalous.
Lord Byron in his poem "When we two parted" shows some aspects, but here I want to refer only to three. The first is Byron's feelings when finishing a relationship, the second is the hidden and forbidden love between him and a woman, and the third is the way in which Byron refers to this woman. Many critics has said that the most part of his works are autobiographical. This poem is not an exception. I think this poem is autobiographical in Byron, because he liked to have affairs with many women that were forbidden for him.
First at all, I have to say that this poem is conformed by four stanzas of eight lines each one.
In this poem Lord Byron is the speaker who talks to a woman. The mood of this poem is very sad, because he is talking about the separation between him and this woman. The title and the beginning of the poem gives the reader a premonition about what is going to happen in the poem. The speaker is telling what he is going to feel:
"When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-heart
To sever for years,"
Then, the speaker describes what he feels and he continues doing that during the whole poem. As we can see, he says he will be very sad, but not only during few time, but during some years. In the second stanza he says:
"The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel know"
Before, he presents this separation, but know it is a fact that makes him feel so sad. He uses the adjective "chill" and "cold" during the whole poem to refer to his sadness.
In the third stanza when he knows about their separation he says:
"A shudder comes over me
Why were thou so dear?
...
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell."
Know he trembles. When a person trembles is because he is sad, afraid of something and is cold. I can say that all three aspects are presented in the feelings of Byron. He is sad because of the separation of them, he is afraid of losing her (in fact, he has lost her) and he feels cold because of his fear and his sadness. This idea is reinforced in last stanza where he is afraid she can forget him:
"In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive."
Another important aspect is that he talks about her, but no in a good way:
" Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame."
We can see a very important aspect of the woman he loves. He says "Thy vows are all broken" it means the promises she had made him. The problem here is that in the poem we can not see the "vows" she made him. But it is not all. Then he says "light is thy fame" and when we say that the fame of a person is light, is because the reputation of that person is not so good. This idea is reinforced by the following two lines when he speaks about the shame of her name. Here I can see clearly that the name and the reputation and perhaps the occupation of that woman are not very honest or honorable or perhaps that this woman is married (this aspect is not explicit in the poem).
Another idea I can see in this poem and that is very connected with the last aspect I have told, is that this love was hidden and so forbidden. In third stanza Byron says:
" They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:"
First the speaker says that he knew her very good, it means he says they were lovers and then if people did not know about their relationship is because it was forbidden. This idea is reinforced in the last stanza of the whole poem:
" In secret we met
In silence I grieve,"
If they met in secret it means their love was hidden and forbidden and if he has to feel pain in silence, without sharing his woes with other person is because of the forbidden character of their love.
And finally I can say that the last four lines of the poem are a conclusion that summarizes what I have said during the whole paper:
" If I should meet thee
After long, years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears."
In this four lines I can notice that he talks about his feelings because he says that if he meets her again he will greet her with tears, and tears commonly means sadness, so he says he will not recuperate his joy during long years. And next he says that he will greet her with silence because as it was a forbidden love he can not make public his feelings about.
In conclusion, I can say that the poem shows some aspects of Byron's feelings in regards to the love and the separation of a woman that is not very honest. I think this poem shows in a certain way what Byron did and what Byron felt in regards to love. He loved a woman (commonly a married woman or a forbidden woman for him) and he was aware that they have to separate, but even though this, he remembered her and reminded loving her during some time.

2001. ©

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