What is the meaning of these lines?An only life can take so long to climbClear of its wrong beginnings, and may neverBut at the total emptiness for ever

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's interesting that this poem would be classified in the aubade group.  It might stray a bit from the traditional conception of the style of poem an aubade is seen to be.  The poem that is more of a celebration of the dawn, and condemnation for interruption, this particular poem/ excerpt seems to be intimating at something, but not fully articulating it.  The overall meaning I derive from it is reminiscent of Sisyphus, or the idea of rolling the boulder up the hill only to see it roll back down.  The last line brings this out to me.  Remaining at "the total emptiness for ever" brings to light the idea of being unable to evade the barren nature of consciousness that is evoked.  At the same time, the opening line of taking "so long to climb" and the second line of seeking to redress wrongs which might never materialize brings these images to brighter light.  Bearing this in mind, I guess I do not see this poem as an aubade, which is more of a celebration of where things are in the face of inevitable change, a reveling in the moment that is certain to pass.  In the poem featured, the speaker could only be so fortunate if this moment was to pass.

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