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Heart and Mind
Transcript of Heart and Mind
By: Edith Sitwell
About the Poet
Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell (7 September, 1887 – 9 December, 1964)
British poet and critic
Came from a very dysfunctional family, which affected her work and made her a very weird and eccentric person.
Often wrote in mock nursery rhymes, which reflected the fact that she felt that innocence didn’t exist. This opinion may have come about from the fact that she felt she had missed out on an innocent childhood.
The sun is commonly used as a metaphor in her work.
She also wrote war poetry.
After publishing her first book of poem and editing an important poetry magazine., Wheels, she was seen in 1920s as an important and influential poet
Stanza 2 - Analysis
The title of this poem and its theme as statd in the last two lines are relatively clear.
Heart and mind are necessary for a complete and perfect love.
However, it cannot be achieved in time.
He wants her to remember the things that made her so powerful
"remember still the flowering...bright paws"
"The rippling of bright muscles like a sea"
allude to the sheer power of the sea in motion, just like the lioness when hunting
"Remember the rose prickles of bright paws"
Present the reader with contrasting description
Roses are a show of innocence and purity
Prickle shows little defense which contrast with roses
The second stanza opens with a "said:, signifying a conversation again.
In the previous stanza, the heart was described as the sun
He describes the sun
"greater than all gold"
"more powerful than the twany body of a lion"
Despite the fact that the lions were depicted so powerfully in the first stanza.
The skeleton also relates himself to both Hercules and Samson (Greek/bible heroes) and he makes mention of the strength of the sea.
However he is being consumed by the "flame of heart"
Stanza 3 - Analysis
The last stanza has the same repetitive beginning "said" but this time, we receive the perspective of the Sun and moon.
"When you are... in a dark wood" shows the sign of old age or death,
moon is reduced to a lonely crone
sun, dead in the darkness.
Stanza 1 - Analysis
The first stanza opens with a powerful conversation between the lion and the lioness
Reminds her to remember their love, even after death.
"No more raging like the heat of the sun"
signifies a time in which the lioness will be no longer as alive and as vibrant as in youth
"flame of heart" could mean love or lustful desires.
The mind is presented as a "foolish wind" just fueling the flames of desire
The sun concludes with a statement of the theme of the poem, the fires of the heart and the fire of the mind, will never burn as one
Meaning that there will never be a time where they agree or assure a balance
Strong colour imagery:
"amber dust", "great gold planet", lonely white crone"
"raging fire", "flowering of the amber blood and bone", "the mind is but a foolish wind", "Fire of the heart and the fire of the mind"
"Said the Sun to the Moon"
Language creates a sense of primitive, raw love:
"No liking but all Lust"
: "raging fire like a heat of the sun" "strong as the pillars of the sea"
Depressing, but later changes to advising and wisely
The lion is saying that no matter how powerful you are, you willnt be able to escape from death, however we can live in our memory
The lion believes that the heart and mind are one.
Divided into 3 stanzas
1st: Heart and mind are one
2nd: Heart is stronger than mind
3rd: Heart and mind can never coexist