WHat is the theme of this poem ?
Please can someone help me find the theme;
I have emotional control and power of love but don't know how to expand/explain that !
heres the poem ;
there are many lines you have not traced on my palms still
you think you know me , when i speak you nod knowingly as if
you've read my mind and are only politely acknowledging the confirmation of my spoken words
but you cannot possibly know what i've been contemplating these days
my head is full of blood but you show no fear and i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones
you do not cower when i approach though i am like a runaway train
and i can hear you voice cool and steady while my brain screams profanities into the air around your ears , our past had given you no reason to be afraid but still i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes
the fire i am struggling to control
as i sit stewing in the kitchen's false light with tears my daughter comes to me frightened by what she cannot see afraid tonight to sleep
i hold her in my arms singing soft words of comfort feeling her heart quickly beating against my chest knowing before i can think that i have forgotten us for our stupid little war
knowing in the incandescent light that anger will never move me as delicately as she has moved me this night
Thank You very much !
2 Answers | Add Yours
I find the theme here to be the power of unspoken emotion, particularly anger.
Clearly a relationship (as well as a person) is in significant danger, but it is not clear weather the danger is this person to whom the narrator speaks or the narrator him/herself. The narrator is aware that his/her head is full of blood and that this person does not trust him/herself, and at the same time this "burning" anger could very easily become out of control.
The daughter bringing this person back from their "stupid little war" suggests a young couple, perhaps unmarried, smacked in the face with the realities of child rearing and spending years and not just passionate moments together.
The fact that anger has moved the narrator "delicately" suggests that, while this burning emotion has influenced him/her greatly, he/she has ended up ultimately unchanged and "back where he/she started". This starting point could be anything from "happy enough" to "trapped, but too complacent to put effort into leaving".
This is a poem that deals with the rapport of the two sexes post marriage. Love is its broad theme; it talks about the angle of hatred in love too. It also deals with the love for the children and the idea of a family love side by side the romantic conception of love.
It is not clear whether the persona is that of the husband or the wife, but the voice opens on a note of non-rapport between the husband and the wife. There is no real communication; there is only miscommunication so to speak. There is a strange conflict that runs within and yet the other is not able to recognize it. There is an illusion in love and marriage that another person can be fully known. The radical edge of this poem is that it challenges that notion and points to the unknowable mark in a self. Not all the lines on the palm can be traced. There is only a false confidence of absolute knowledge of the other's mind in love. That is the screen in love that hides the gaping hole in mutual knowledge. There is almost a murderous and violent desire in the mind which the other cannot read. The irony lies in the other's lack of fear while there is real room for fear.
But the wider blanket of family love and affection is seen as a healing magical touch. The daughter's fear of nightmare and the resultant care of the parent caresses and screens the wound effectively, as it were. The speaker at this stage is made to realize the feeling of care and love and its superiority and greatness over all feelings of wrath. There is a 'thank you' at the end, addressed, as it seems to the unifying figure of the third, the daughter.
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