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Heart and Mind

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on 15 April 2015

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Transcript of Heart and Mind

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
The poem futher develops the argument that the heart and the mind are very different. The first stanza has a conversation between a lion and a lioness. The lion tells the lioness that the glory of their existence should be remembered even when they are dead. The heart and the body are one and the same according to the lion. The heart is compared to strong heroes like Hercules and Samson who were brought to dust by the heart and its affairs. The sun tells the moon that even till the end of time the heart and the mind will be separated.

Nothing is permanent- Even the magnificent must die
Raw and primal love
The finality of death
The difference between what the heart wants and what the mind wants
The power of love/heart
Time destroys all
Fading away with old age
Hopeless love
The majesty of a lion/natural world in general
Strong colour imagery: "amber dust", "great gold planet", lonely white crone"
Metaphor: "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"
Personification: "Said the Sun to the Moon"
Language creates a sense of primitive, raw love: "No liking but all Lust"
Logical fallacy: "till the fire of that sun the heart and the moon-cold bone are one"
Personal Response
I really liked how the poet uses metaphors and colour imagery to give the lions mentioned in the poem a very primal and magnificent feel to them. I also appreciate the way that through just four stanzas, the poet covers a wide range of themes and topics: The majesty of the natural world, its primalness, the finality of death, the strong emotions of the heart, the power of love, the different wants of the heart and mind.

I really like the way poem elaborates the argument that the mind and the heart are very different. In the conversation between the sun and the moon it is said that the heart and the mind or emotions and intellect will always be different. The poem also tells that both of them are very important for man but the twain can never meet. Along with it i also like the way she uses graphic visual imagery to enhance the meaning of the poem.
About the Poet
Literary Devices
Heart And Mind
Full transcript