When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone - Poetry Analysis Essay Sample

Published: 2022-06-10
When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone - Poetry Analysis Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Poem Relationship
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 928 words
8 min read

When an individual is lonely, he seeks affection from any creature. The poem contains of ten stanzas that beings and ends with the title, as a refrain. The repetition structure of the poem emphasize on the loneliness affecting the character and how he seeks love from any creature that he comes across. He becomes protective of every creature despite the fact that it can harm him because he requires their presence to negate his feeling of loneliness. The exposure of loneliness has taught the character to tolerate and value other creatures which could not have happened if he had other people to interact. When the poem beings the narrator shows the readers gentle images of tolerance and protection in the face of loneliness. The narrator says "when one has lived a long time alone," one is not in a rush to "strike the mosquito," (line 1-3) instead, one carefully takes to a safe place a toad trapped in a pit or a bird locked in in a house. These protective and gentleness actions are inspired by is loneliness and isolation. The person the narrator talks about has been living alone for a long time, and now he feels isolated from other creatures. He desires for contact with creatures such as birds, mosquitos, and even snakes. He is desperate to form a close relationship with them and he persuades them to be his friends by his tender feelings.

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Relationship is established when one learn and understand the other party. The speaker is reader to help the other creates to show them that he cares for their well-being "carries him to the grass, without minding the poisoned urine he slicks his body with" he goes to an extent of risking his life to establish a close relationship with the creature. The speaker wants other creatures to be happy and free and this is demonstrated when he releases the swift outside. It flies up like "a life line flung up at reality" (Line 12). The speaker forms a relationship with creatures who belong other species as close observation leads to close identification. He now connects with dangerous creatures such as a snake who clamps his split, orange tongue between his teeth, "letting the gaudy tips show, as children do / when concentrating, and as very likely / one does oneself, without knowing it / when one has lived a long time alone." (Line 23). The speaker is not afraid of the snake and watches it as it undergo ecdysis, and renew its skin. He does not fear its poisonous bite and when he sees it he rap it by the head until it stop stricken its divided tongue. He does not regret demonstrating his brevity and wholeness, loss and renewal at are related with death and eternal life.

Lack of human interaction denies one sexual satisfaction that is significant in human happiness. The speaker is not happy in life because he does not have a partner establish an intimate relationship. In stanza four the speaker concentrates on the process of 'othering' the snake, and later dives deep into the opposite. The speaker say "one holds the snake near a loudspeaker disgorging gorgeous sound and watches him crook his forepart into four right angles" (Stanza 4, line 2-4). The stanza demonstrates how the speaker desires to have a sexual relationship with a human creature. He starts with 'othering,' and then moves through a process of identification and recognition then returns to more distant reflection on the apparent desire for kinship. In forth stanza the snake symbolizes the penis and the speaker is contemplating on the "pathos of the penis" (Stanza 4, line 12). He is sexually lonely and has no one to negate his isolation. He seeks for kinship where he can find other human creates and develop a intimate relationship with one of them so that he can quench his sexual hunger. In this stanza it is clear that individual needs sexual satisfaction to live a happy live. This is the reason why men and women get married and live together happily because they are sexually satisfied every day.

In "When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone", he states that "one likes alike the pig [...] and the porcupine" and "one likes the worm [...] no less than the butterfly." In fact, at this point in the poem, the speaker states that one finds "one likes / any other species better than one's own, / which has gone amok, making one self-estranged." The sentiment in this section begins to border on something similar to colonial alienation, where an internalised rejection of 'the self' and the impossibility to adopt or be adopted by 'the other' leads to an absence of self-esteem and of a 'self' altogether; to alienation from the self. Obviously, colonial alienation is related to questions of identity, self and other in terms of coloniality and post-coloniality, race and oppression. However, in this case the speaker rejects his entire species, "which has gone amok," and has made himself "self-estranged." This self-estrangement leads to a "self-dissolution" in stanza eight that is almost beyond his own control. The speaker is joined in his state of self-dissolution by the snake, who has stopped trying to escape back to its own kind, and is "slumping into [the body's] contours, / adopting its temperature." Dark in tone, this stanza speaks of "sour, misanthropic" "defiance", and "abandon[ing] hope / of the sweetness of friendship or love." Ultimately, kinship with other species proves unsatisfactory, as the loneliness and isolation caused by estrangement from one's own species is not alleviated by companionship from snake, pig, porcupine, bird or worm.

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