Text commentary of a poem by Robert Graves, "Lovers in Winter". It was part of an introductory course to English literature during 1st yr at university.

Essay by eterniteeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2003

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Robert Graves, "Lovers in winter"

The poem identifies nature images with feelings in both stanzas. In the first one it compares a tree to a person (the poetic I) and wind to the You's cruelty. In the second one there is a link between backward and the green branches (an image of happy past) and forward and ill weather (an image of unpleasant present). Furthermore, the poem has rhyme in each of its verses and this contributes to the rhythm the poem already has thanks to the isochrony of the English language.

In the first stanza there is a cause-effect relation between the wind and the posture of the tree and at the same time between the You's cruelty and the feelings of the poetic I.

In the second stanza an opposition between forward and backward is found. As previously mentioned, these two concepts are linked with nature but there is also an identification of backward and doubt.

This short poem containing only two stanzas of four verses each has a very strong effect on the readers because there is high intensity of feelings. As previously mentioned, the language and the images are very elaborated but the message Graves delivers to us is even more overwhelming.

In the first stanza the poetic I says that he is very upset due to his/her lover's cruelty. To make this feeling more vivid to us, Graves uses the image of the posture of the tree mentioned before. The second stanza as a whole says that we have to face what comes and that we should not look backward at the happy times and do nothing. The best thing to do in the present so as to avoid bad periods and dull life is to use the goodness of...