Question- Do Vladimir Holan through the poem 'Meeting in a Lift' and Jaan Kaplinski through the poem 'A Last Cloud' interpret loss in the same way ?

Essay by np267High School, 11th gradeA-, May 2006

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Two personal experiences on loss are expressed, quite diversely, through the two poems. Vladimir Holan's "Meeting in a lift" is a poem interpreting a small and short life against great and immortal human desires, whereas Jaan Kaplinski's "A Last Cloud" decodes loss as a part of nature's renewal system. Both poems deal with loss, perhaps the theme evoked by the poets' cultural backgrounds; Holan is Czech and Kaplinski is Estonian- both countries have experienced the loss or invasion of their country.

A first reader of the poem will probably notice the outer layers of the poem, and observe that Holan's observation of loss relative of the human behaviour, which contrasts to Kaplinski, whose portrayal of loss is mediated through nature.

Holan describes a chance meeting of a man and woman in a lift, a situation dreaded by many. The setting itself creates a restless mood, an awkward situation and a feeling of uneasiness.

The poem starts with;

We stepped into the lift.

The first part of the line is almost neutral and suggests a chance to experience or find something new. He then continues...

The two of us, alone.

The word in bold is the first negative hint of the poem. Alone suggests negativity because it is often translated as an absence of companionship. The poet did not have to take the fact that being alone means being lonely. He had a choice to make the best of this chance meeting wherever he wished, where anything can happen between them. Holan then expresses his feelings...

Two lives, a moment, fullness, bliss.

A positive mood is created and the poem is full of hope. A moment, fullness and bliss are words which the poet chose to suggest a sky-high point of happiness, or an extremely...