“The Buried Life” is a ninety-eight-line poem divided into seven stanzas of varying length with an irregular rhyme scheme. A monologue in which a lover addresses his beloved, the poem yearns for the possibility of truthful communication with the self and with others.
The first line evokes the banter of a loving couple, but it is immediately checked by the deeply sad feelings of the speaker. Troubled by a sense of inner restlessness, he longs for complete intimacy and hopes to find it in his beloved’s clear eyes, the window to her “inmost soul.”
As the second stanza suggests, not even lovers can sustain an absolutely open relationship or break through the inhibitions and the masks that people assume in order to hide what they really feel. Yet the speaker senses the possibility of greater truth, since all human beings share basically the same feelings and ought to be able to share their most profound thoughts.
In a burst of emotion, expressed in two intense lines, the speaker wonders whether the same forces that prevent people from truly engaging each other must also divide him and his beloved.
The fourth stanza suggests that direct contact is possible only in fugitive moments, when human beings suddenly are aware of penetrating the distractions and struggles of life and realize that their apparently random actions are the result of the “buried stream,” of those unconscious drives that motivate human...
(The entire section is 405 words.)