A minor response to the poem "Softest of Tongues" by Vladimir Nabokov

Essay by canadian_bananaHigh School, 11th gradeA-, December 2003

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Minor response to "Softest of Tongues"

Change is an inevitable part of our lives and sometimes accepting that change can be difficult. In the poem "Softest of Tongue" poet Vladir Nabokov expresses the burden of accepting change and saying goodbye to the past. Nabokov writes of a character that goes through the process of change, by identifying the problem, accepting the decision for change and then starting a new beginning. However the character starts to have difficulties in letting go of his past and this interferes with his decision. This character brings on the all too familiar problem that everyone experiences whilst dealing with change.

There is always a catalyst for change. The speaker of the poem begins by listing specific things that cause unhappiness and thus a need for change. The line "novels interrupted by the din of the tunnels" depict how the persona strives to appreciate literature but the "dim of the tunnels" or their surroundings always seem to interfere.

The "drab designs that habit seldom sees" illustrate the busy lifestyle that the persona might lead and as a result, cause them to loose their appreciation for the arts. The mention of the "thumbless glove" expresses how un-useful or meaningless everything in their life has become. These are all the catalysts for the change that is about to occur. The speaker uses these examples amongst others, to communicate to the reader their desperate need for change.

To cope with change one must learn to accept it. The speaker of the poem then says "prash-chai" or "goodbye" to those burdens, however this is expressed with a tone of denial. The word goodbye "cheats the lips and leaves them parted", indicating how the person feels "cheated" or unconfident about his decision for change and feels a sense of regret. The...