Illustration of PDF document

Download Field Work Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Themes and Meanings

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

The poem establishes a rather puzzling context, like the “dashed” wall against which the beauty of the sunflower can be seen, in which the final lines carry, by their very clarity, comprehensibility, and directness, a force of truth and relief. The poem is also about vision and its problems, about the difficulty of seeing the beloved clearly. The eyes of the blackbirds in part 1 may be perfect, but the eye which sees the poem is clearly not. The umber mark which the poet puts on his beloved’s hand is a sign and token of love, yet it is also a stain, as if he were undeserving or unworthy. The poem as a whole remains mysterious, almost as if its real subject somehow cannot quite be discussed directly.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial