In "I Find no Peace", why are so many paradoxes?

1 Answer

User Comments

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

An astute reader can count fifteen separate paradoxes in the poem. Lines 5 and 6 provide just one paradox, but lines 9 and 12 each give us two. The total effect of the paradoxes is to stress the conflicting emotions elicited by love. The point is made about as strongly as it can be made, from the global paradoxes in lines 1–4 to the more political and personal ones in lines 5–8. The logic of turning the love of another to hate for oneself (line 11) is difficult to follow unless the line refers to the speaker’s inability to express his love or to pursue it successfully. The assertion that the speaker’s “delight” causes all the “strife” (line 14) is easier to follow. We may suppose that the speaker had established a regular way of life that has been upset by the changes required and anticipated by his having fallen in love.