Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 9 years ago

Can you explain this poem to me?

Belovèd, thou hast brought me many flowers

Plucked in the garden, all the summer through,

And winter, and it seemed as if they grew

In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers.

So, in the like name of that love of ours,

Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,

And which on warm and cold days I withdrew

From my heart’s ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers

Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,

And wait thy weeding; yet here’s eglantine,

Here’s ivy!—take them, as I used to do

Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.

Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,

And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.

TY

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Elizabeth Barret Browning is telling her husband to be - Robert Browning - that she is really grateful for all the flowers he has bought her, and telling him that they looked just as good indoors as they did in the wild while they were still growing.

    Belovèd, thou hast brought me many flowers

    Plucked in the garden, all the summer through,

    And winter, and it seemed as if they grew

    In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers.

    Elizabeth doesn't have any flowers of her own to give back to Robert, but she has 'loving thoughts' [poems]. Robert's flowers grew in a garden, but Elizabeth's poems grew in her heart:

    So, in the like name of that love of ours,

    Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,

    And which on warm and cold days I withdrew

    From my heart’s ground. I

    Elizabeth tells Robert that her loving thoughts will look just as well in his heart, as his flowers looked in her drawing room:

    Indeed, those beds and bowers

    Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,

    And wait thy weeding; yet here’s eglantine,

    Here’s ivy!—take them, as I used to do

    Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.

    Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,

    And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    First of all, keep in mind that the speaker of the poem is a fictional character, not William Shakespeare himself. It's dangerous to assume that every poem written in the first person is intended to be about the speaker. Also, Shakespeare wrote very little "seduction" poetry - that was more the purview of Donne, Herrick, Marvel, Lovelace, etc - so this is probably not a poem about physical/erotic love, but about a deeper, more spiritual love. This is a typical Shakespearean sonnet, composed of three quatrains (four line stanzas) and a couplet. Let's break it down. Quatrain 1. That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. The speaker is describing himself using an analogy. He is like the autumn season, almost winter - bare trees, no birds singing. He's referring to both his appearance - balding, shaking - and his art - he's having a hard time writing poetry, just as the birds are no longer singing. Quatrain 2. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. The speaker shifts slightly and compares himself to a time of day - twilight fading into night. The sun hasn't quite set yet, but it's descending very rapidly. This is the time of drifting into sleep, "Death's second self." Eventually, he will be gone. Quatrain 3. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. The speaker shifts again and compares himself to a dying fire - it's not completely out, but all that's left are embers. He sees the "ashes of his youth," and perhaps wonders if he wasted or squandered the earlier years of his life. Now he is consumed and made tired by the things which once nourished him - art, love, etc. These three quatrains set up the "problem" of the poem - inevitably, we all grown old and eventually die. The couplet demonstrates a turn (also called a "volta"), which is a shift in tone, and attempts to create a resolution to the problem. Couplet. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong To love that well which thou must leave ere long. The speaker acknowledges that his younger beloved can see his decline into old age and eventually death, yet that person remains with him. He concludes that love is even more powerful and meaningful when you know that the object of your love will soon be taken from you. The fact that he is loved so well by someone who recognizes his imminent death takes away some of the pain and disappointment that comes with aging. There's another resolution implicit in the poem - the speaker believes his art and talent to be gone, yet he wrote this beautiful and moving sonnet. Even though he will die, his art will live on, and so he achieves a kind of immortality. So here are some things you can agree or disagree with: - Is old age like winter? Like night? Like a dying fire? - Is love more powerful when you know that what you love will soon be taken from you? - Does being loved make aging and death less difficult? EDIT: Why am I getting a thumbs down for this? Did I hurt someone's feelings or something?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Someone she loved brought her a lot of flowers. He plucked the from the garden all summer, not missing a day, and even in winter because they still grew. poo poo poo plops into the toilet making a splash! Stool covers life in water :D

  • 9 years ago

    The poet is saying she brought love into his world (flowers) when they were younger (in summer).

    In his own greedy sort of way, he kept her love to himself (in a room). Over time, though he still loved her he did not act that way at time (over grown with weeds and rue). He is saying very deeply, he loves her, and cherishes her love all these years though he might not have shown his appreciation. In addition, that her love has greatly rooted in his heart (their roots are left in mine). Long winded of way of saying thank you for loving me.

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