Vincent Millay talks of the need for the need for love and at the same time, debunks romantic notions of love that regard love as the panacea for all ills in life. In the first two lines, she explicates the need for material…
While this seems as a leveling of love with the other material needs of life, what Millay seeks to do is to place love at a higher level than these needs, without denigrating the importance of these basic needs of human beings who are unable to resist “wants past resolution’s power” (Millay, 730). In the sestet, she makes this clear by stating the indispensable nature of love by stating the fact that unlike other needs of human beings, love is still not a commodity that the narrator of the poem can trade in the marketplace. The narrator ends the poem by stating that she may do so, but would rather not, thereby placing the tension between the two sparring needs of human beings.
made in the name of love. In the first seven couplets of the poem, the poet, in images that are overtly sexual, describes the narrator’s love for a woman that is absent in the poem, but can be called a silent presence. Throughout these verses, the poet’s ideas about love are disturbing, since many of them include the incarceration of the lover. The urge to lock the lover in a “cell under lock and key” in particular, reveals the intentions of an obsessive lover (Brodsky, 734). Brodsky also reveals the intense sexual energy that the narrator of the poem has, pent up in himself, when he talks of the “lava relentlessly erupting” from his “hidden source” (ibid). The last lines of the poem, however, reveal the real intent of the poet in writing this poem. It talks of the narrator’s compulsion to accept the position that he does, in the life of his lover, so as to circumvent the restrictions that the society imposes on love and its manifestations. The primeval nature of love and the sexual urges that are associated with non-platonic love are what the poet seeks to showcase through this poem. The restrictions that the church and institutions of marriage impose ...
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