Please give me an analysis of the poem "Aids" by May Sarton.critical analysis and explanations

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post was very strong in its direction and analysis. One of the things that Sarton has said is that she sees herself "as a bridge" between the heterosexual and the homosexual worlds.  In this light, her poem might be an attempt to bring out the compassion needed to fully develop a plan of how to help those with the disease.  At the time of her writing the poem, the fear and paranoia of AIDS and those who had contracted it caused the victims to be demonized and shunned.  Sarton's belief that her bridge as both artist and thinker drove her to compose a poem that evokes the love and genuine authenticity required in understanding a brutal disease, as well as the pain endured in seeing people one loves die of it.

mkcapen1 | Student

May Sarton's poem about Aids addresses the limitations that love has in a person's life.  When one grows up one assumes that love can conquer everything life throws one's way.  However, when a person has AIDS the doors to love are often closed as people turn away from the disease in fear. 

May uses a lot of imagery in her poem to help one visualize the experience.  She also repeats words in order to emphasize meaning.

"Intention/ Here can neither move nor change/The raw truth" (lines 4-6).

In order to be able to be there for the person one must accept the disease and what comes with it.

"a new dimension/ Of love, a more demanding range/ Where despair and hope must intertwine" (lines 2-3)

These lines express the new level love must arrive at in order to help the person.

"Death is on the line" (line 6)

The previous line throws itself at the reader so the reader will see the risk and what is at stake.

"Our world has never been more stark/ Or more in peril. It is very lonely now in the dark/ Lonely and sterile" (lines 11-14)

The author is trying to convey that there is a need for hope in the middle of the tragedy.   The author uses the word lonely repeatedly to place emphasis on the feeling.

Yet, her intent in the end is to convey the sense of hope that still exists.



Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question