Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Evening Solace

Evening Solace by Charlotte Bronte is a poem that focuses on showing how inner feelings can change over time. It is a common belief that time heals everything. In a way this poem shows this since Bronte conveys that time does lessen our pain and in time we find comfort one way or another. Feelings especially bad ones tend to stay with a person but over time they usually fade or at least become easier to cope with.
One example that Bronte gives that shows feelings change over time are lines 5 to 8 which state:

"And days may pass in gay confusion,
And nights in rosy riot fly,
While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion,
The memory of the Past may die."

As days and nights pass, past memories tend to fade slightly or are not as clear as we remembered them. There is a chance that by getting caught up in chasing wealth or gaining stature that maybe difficult memories will die but it is not truly possible as Bronte goes on to state. In lines 9 and 10, the poet states "But there are hours of lonely musing,/Such as in evening silence come," which means that people have inner reflections of their thoughts, hopes, dreams and pleasures from time to time when the evening comes.
It is human nature to reflect and have ever changing emotions on our past. Lines 15 and 16 say "And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish/Now cause but some mild tears to flow." This means that pain becomes more bearable with time because we learn to deal with it and can hide it better. Emotions are difficult to control in the moment or when something occurs but eventually emotions become muted to a certain extent because we have to move on in life and not stay stuck in the past.
This idea is also reflected in lines 17 and 18 which say "And feelings, once as strong as passions, /Float softly back--a faded dream;". Time changes our feelings and as time passes we sometimes have to let go of things we wanted or have happened in the past until they seem like a faded dream. Strong feelings whether they are of love, hate, desire or something else can be looked upon and remembered but they tend to diminish or disappear gradually over time.
In lines 19 to 24, Bronte expresses a person's desire to move forward and forget.

Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations,
The tale of others' sufferings seem.
Oh! when the heart is freshly bleeding,
How longs it for that time to be,
When, through the mist of years receding,
Its woes but live in reverie!

This part of the poem talks about a person wishing that they could fast forward to the time when their broken heart and pain is healed. The person wishes to go to a time when all their pain would only seem like a distant memory. Time brings healing of a person's grief and suffering which is what the poet looks at as solace or comfort that can be attained.
Bronte looks at evening as a time of calmness and silence where a person can look back at past thoughts and let them go. This shows in lines 27 to 32:

And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,
Feel no untold and strange distress--
Only a deeper impulse given
By lonely hour and darkened room,
To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven
Seeking a life and world to come.

In these lines, night approaches but this person no longer feels suffering and worry. The person in the poem can look back clearly at their thoughts without hurting and let them go because they have made peace with them.

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