Analysis of Tears Idle Tears Poem: Themes and Tone

Classified in English

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Tone: sadness, grief, nostalgia, uncertainty. “Idle”: not based on a good reason-the poetic voice does not know why he is crying

First stanza

“I know not what they mean”: uncertainty tone. “Divine despair”: oxymoron à concern of accepting the passage of time. “Divine”: inexplicable, a more religious issue, beyond human understanding. “Happy Autumn-fields”: personification à bittersweet feelings of the persona when thinking about the past. “The days that are no more”: refrain à the poem is about memories, feeling nostalgia about past life. It is repeated at the end of each stanza

Second stanza

fresh as the first beam”: simile à he remembers memories about childhood and his friends who are now dead, “fresh” recent, new, clear, vivid memories, “first beam” morning, sunrise representing childhood-pathetic fallacy. “Sad as the last which reddens over one”: simile, “last” refers to the last beam which represents sunset and old age-pathetic fallacy. Bittersweet feeling between the 2 quotes. “Sinks with all we love”: those actions have passed and will never be again real, its irreversible, we cannot recover the past; “so sad, so fresh”: repetition of “so” to create emphasis and intensify the feelings. There is also an alliteration of the letter “s” which connotes sleep and so the end of a day representing death

Third stanza

“ah”: interjection-lamenting tone; “strange as in dark summer dawns”: simile, paradox of life and death, in the same unity. Life after death, new beginning. The pipe (singing) is like a goodbye for the person who is dying; “ears”; “eyes”: synecdoche à inertness of the dying man is vividly portrayed “glimmering square”: may be representing the light we are supposed to see when we are dying

Fourth stanza

Loving, sweet tone until “wild”; “dear”: loving, positive tone; “dear as remembered”: simile- the beloved one is dead; “sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned”: simile-unrequited love and tone; “deep as first love”: simile-represents how naïve, pure the love was and how it will be forever memorable “wild will all regret”: wild because he is not able to control it, so it is frustrating. Regret because he feels impotence. “O Death in Life”: conclusion memories are dead in life; our past is dead although we are still alive. “O”: interjection à melancholy

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