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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Poem Analysis,Subject Summarisation And Explanation : 'You Who Never Arrived' by Rainer Maria Rilke

After covering all the poem summarisation and analysis of English B,I will be doing the same for the poems included in English A (which is what I study as a subject).English A poetry syllabus of Class XI starts with 'The Stolen Boat' by William Wordsworth but I myself am desperate to write about this amazing exhibition of artwork by Rainer Maria Rilke (which is the second poem included in the syllabus) from the very first day when I had laid my eyes on it.Rilke's style of poetry was somewhat of a transition between romanticism and the modern approach in poetry,making them a true delight to the enthusiasts and readers worldwide.
The poem is so beautiful,I feel goosebumps rising every single time I read it and that indeed is a rare phenomenon to happen to me owing to my critical definitions of perfection about literature.I simply can't complain about a single attribute in this poem!

You Who Never Arrived
By Rainer Maria Rilke

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.
You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house– , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

Poem Analysis,Summarisation And Explanation

As already mentioned,Rilke's style of writing poetry was a transition between romanticism and modern poetry,thus making it even more convincing than the pure forms so mentioned.The poem tells us the poet's bittersweet feelings or mixed emotions about love for someone that was never reciprocated.It somehow reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love."
In the very next line,the poem gives off a practically dreamy dimension,claiming that whom he loved never arrived in his arms.In the next lines,the poet expresses his oblivion about the unknown sides of his beloved,which he was never able to properly decipher and understand,he claims to have given up all the attempts to recognise such oblivion,that comes like surging waves in the very next moment.
The next part expresses an elevated height of philosophy,expressing that all his vivid imaginations about towns,cities,landscapes,towers,bridges and those unknown,unreachable lands which were perhaps once God's own place;all of this and everything else rises within the poet to mean his beloved,who forever is the cause of joy to him.
Being a little sceptical here and not considering the professionalism,it does feel like a true incident in the poet's life.Not because it is so beautifully written but because of the mixed emotions,which I believe is exhibiting a psychological phenomenon that happens when a person's love is unrequited or when he or she is abandoned somehow.
At a point,it is claimed that there is so much oblivion in her that he has had to give up his attempts to recognise her completely and at the other,he claims her to be the reason that eludes him,forever.

The next part starts with the poet describing his beloved as everything to him and the gardens he has ever gazed at,with great desire.There seems to be the presence of an imagined situation where there lies an open window of a country house,with her too anxious to meet him and in the very next lines,the poet describes that she just walked down the streets he would walk upon (perhaps for a longer period of time) and vanished.And at times,her reflection would be seen in mirrors in shops located on the street,with his too-sudden image,expressing both his immense admiration for her and their short-lived togetherness.
The last line gives the poem a dimension which is best expressed in emotions and not words.It expresses the poet's grief and his quiet insight into the depth of the entire incidence.A melancholy tune is expressed through the same bird that may have echoed through both of them in the very last evening.

Special Credit : 'Rhapsody : Higher Secondary English Selections' Printed by Orient Blackswan on behalf of West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE).

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  1. This is not an interpretation.... but a re-write. nothing insightful nor analytic here. yawn!

  2. This is not an interpretation.... but a re-write. nothing insightful nor analytic here. yawn!

    1. I feel a little sorry about that. Have you read the last paragraph,Miss?

  3. I dont agree with this perspective at all; this is not "unreciprocated or unrequited love" Rather it is search for the best idea of love, it is a quest , a vision , difficult to fulfill.

  4. A poem which evokes a series of emotions in the mind of the readers. No doubt it would invite much attention from the readers' circles. Thanks for posting it.
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