To One Unknown
BY HELEN DUDLEY
I have seen the proudest stars
That wander on through space,
Even the sun and moon,
But not your face.
I have heard the violin,
The winds and waves rejoice
in endless minstrelsy,
Yet not your voice.
I have touched the trillium,
Pale flower of the land,
And not your hand.
I have kissed the shining feet
Of Twilight lover-wise,
Opened the gates of Dawn—
Oh not your eyes!
I have dreamed unwonted things,
Visions that witches brew,
Spoken with images,
Never with you.
This poem has a certain extreme rise and steep drop portrayed in each stanza. It almost illustrates a scavenger hunt which the hunter has risen to its highest point of success then realizes, “oh it’s just a tree”. I say this because in each stanza Helen names these beautiful objects such as stars and the sound of violins, but then completely turns the feeling around when she says something like “but never you”. You can obviously tell that the person she was looking for was completely hidden from her. Jus reading this kind of makes you want to ponder on the question, “Who is she looking for?”
By John Clare
I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
John Clare obviously felt, or saw, some kind of rejection when he wrote this poem. It is quite interesting, the way he portrays loneliness and loathing of others toward a certain individual because he is so vivid to the extent that it is quite hard to think that he didn’t go through rejection. In his second stanza third line he says, “Where there is neither sense of life or joys, but the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems…,” it seems he attained a certain goal or dream and the people around didn’t quite support his decisions. But overall excellent poem with and very simple flow of rhythm. I also used this particular visual because the music creates an atmosphere of sadness and depression the pictures do as well, and i believe that this best portrays the cause, or meaning, of the poem.