Why could Mariana "not look on the sweet heaven"?

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The poem "Mariana," written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson , tells the tale of a girl named Mariana who feels isolated, lonely, and despondent. Throughout the course of the poem it becomes evident that she has been left by a great love, whom she is longing to reconnect with....

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The poem "Mariana," written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, tells the tale of a girl named Mariana who feels isolated, lonely, and despondent. Throughout the course of the poem it becomes evident that she has been left by a great love, whom she is longing to reconnect with. However, as the poem unfolds, it becomes clear this great love may never return. In the second stanza, Tennyson writes:

Her tears fell with the dews at even,  

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried,

She could not look on the sweet heaven,  

Either at morn or eventide.

The stanza suggests that Mariana feels so isolated that she has become withdrawn and despondent. She is unable to connect with even the simplest things around her. Her deepening melancholy with the situation has made her more focused on her internal despair and less focused on her surroundings. In fact, she is so dejected that she cannot look on the heaven, or sky, in the morning or evening.

It is interesting to point out that Tennyson probably uses the word "heaven" for effect here as well because, in the first stanza, he refers to Mariana’s statement “I would that I were dead.” This allusion to death and the afterlife helps solidify Mariana’s desperation with her plight.

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