critical appreciation of the poem 'The Last Ride Together'

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alison3000 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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This poem is a dramatic monologue of a rejected lover who expresses his undying love for his beloved. The title gives the idea that this is their last time together and the speaker is attempting to live fully in that moment. The poem appears to suggest that the phrase 'carpe diem' is actually one to live by and that the speaker will be happy with the memory of this last ride.

Browning suggests, as he does in other poems, that the speaker has failed in some way but that this is not important as 'all men strive and who succeeds?' For Browning the present is all important as men spend too much time concentrating on the past or future as things are set out for us by fate and we cannot control them. Even art is not that important as the sculptor's gaze moves away from Venus to 'yonder girl that fords the burn'.

This poem is an interesting one as it explores ideas of how we should live in the moment and be content with that.