The Telephone By Edward Field
What are the theme and meaning of the poem "The Telephone" by Edward Field?
The theme of "The Telephone" is that the telephone is a lifeline.
To the speaker, the telephone is a marvelous "appliance" which connects him to friends in a valuable way in his large and impersonal city:
It tells me that I am in the world and wantedIt rings and I am alerted to love or gossip
Edward Field’s poem “The Telephone” is included in his book Counting Myself Lucky: Selected Poems, 1963-1992. The poem is a commentary on the invention of the telephone and how it connected people who were isolated by their city living conditions. The theme of the poem is self-identity and happiness through an object in one’s life. The narrator explains how the telephone made him feel connected to others, how it gave him pleasure to share gossip, and to stay connected. As he says, “Without it I was like a bear in a cave.” It seems the telephone gave him so much pleasure that he goes from feeling like a solitary bear hibernating to a person enjoying the spring sunshine when it rings. The promise of sharing with other human beings through his inanimate object, this glorious invention allows him to hear “the human voice and the good news of friends.”