Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hopeless Despair in Arewen Taylors "Home"

Who knew that home could be such a depressing place for an individual. I am sightly confused by what the author Arwen Taylor is trying to illustrate in our mind. Throughout the poem the despair is constantly repeated, but not without the hope being mentioned as the reason. 

“hope taught us young cultivate despair”, “The lifetime lesson, that hope breeds despair” “wrapped up in ribbons to appease the gift inside thin paper hope, despair.” “outside the wind where the night is rife with hope-seeded despair,” 

Perhaps all this talk of despair and hope is to show that no matter how much hope we have in our life and in our home despair will always find us. The Latter-Day Saint theme may not be so much about the home and how spiritual it ideally think of the home. Its in the home that our hope can develop into something grand and wonderful. We can see life as something magnificent and wonderful. 

Hoping for something great and wonderful is dangerous and maybe this is what the author is getting at. That with hope despair naturally follows. Our hopes and dreams can be minimized because of the natural balance of life. ‘Hope breeds dispair’ is the most telling line of the poem and how it all comes together. 

Not until the end of the poem do we see how the savior plays a role in helping our despair be lessened. The final stanza suggests that as we bend and worship the Savior he will heal us. The way to overcome the defeat of hope and despair is to learn to love.

In this poem we see a grammar pattern in how each line is finished. Over three or four lines the final words rhyme. For example “trees, degrees, appease” or “life, rife, strife.” 

It took me reading it out loud and silently many times to begin to grasp an idea of how home can be connected to despair. I wasn't engaged with the poem for the longest time. Thinking of the times in my life when I have let my hope get carried away only to be left in despair was the connection I could make. Then to see how the savior can come in and make the despair go away and make a home a place of love made this poem seem like more of a reality and not just a confusing jumble of words. 

(405 words)

1 comment:

  1. I really liked your point that with hope comes despair. I think it is a powerful iteration of opposition in all things. Another thing I thought of when you were unsure of how despair could be seen so fully in a home, is that close relationships have great power over us. Those closest to us can make us the most happy, but also the most sorrowful. I think the home is the main stage for family and close relationships (in most cases)--which could be another reason why hope and despair are often found in homes. Parents have great hope for their children, and sometimes the choices of their children may lead them to despair.