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Transcript of TRUE LOVE
By Robert Penn Warren
A boy fell in love with a beautiful girl in front of a drugstore. Two years later, she smiled at him and called him by his name. She also has unemployed brothers who only know how to joke around, an alcoholic father and a religious mother. When she got married to another man, he witnessed the wedding and cried in bed that night. Later, when her family's mortgage was foreclosed, she left and her family split up. He never saw the girl again and he only remembers the only precious moment when she called his name.
Time Setting :
- Starts around 1915
- The Big Black Buick was released around that time
- The boy in the poem was actually himself
Physical Setting :
- Drugstore (2nd stanza, third line)
- Barbershop (6th stanza, third line)
- Big white farmhouse (7th stanza, third line)
Name : Robert Penn Warren
Date of Birth : 24th April 1905
Place of Birth : Guthrie, Kentucky
Education : Guthrie School (until the age of 15)
Clarksville Highschool, Clarksville,
Montgomery Country, Tennessee
Teaching Career :
-Vanderblit University, Nashville University, Tennessee University, Yale University, Lousiana State University and Southern College
Published Novel :
- His best known novel, All the King's Men won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947
- 1st published novel, Night Rider
- Last published novel, A Placa to Come to and Random House (1977)
Background of Poet
(In Stanza 5)
- The guy truly fell in love with the girl. He kept his feeling for two years until she realized his existence.
(In Stanza 9 & 10)
-The girl got married to someone else. He saw the wedding. The guy cried that night wondering what was happening to her in the hands of another man.
(In Stanza 12)
-In the end, the girl left and lived somewhere else.
- Slow and melancholic
- explaining the sorrow he felt when he saw the girl married to someone else.
- He was unable to express his love.
Theme & Tone
- Skinny, red-headed, freckles (Stanza 1 & 2)
- Was 10 and 12 years old
The girl's mother (Stanza 8)
- The only positive character
- Pious christian woman
- Married to someone else
The Brothers (Stanza 6)
- Arrogant or insolent
The girl's father (Stanza 7 & 8)
- Depends on others
It stops your heart
(Stanza 3, line 2)
It thickens your blood
(Stanza 3, line 3)
It stops your breath
(Stanza 3, line 3)
It makes you feel dirty
(Stanza 4, line 1)
You need a hot bath
(Stanza 4, line 1)
I thought I would die if she saw me
(Stanza 4, line 3)
I thought I would wake up dead
(Stanza 5, line 3)
How could I exists in the same world with that brightness? (Stanza 5, line 1)
But I know she will be beautiful forever
(Stanza 12, line 1)
It utters words (the heart)
(Stanza 1, line 1
In silence the heart raves. It utters words
Meaningless, that never had
A meaning. I was ten, skinny, red-headed,
Freckled. In a big black Buick,
Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat
In front of the drugstore, sipping something
Through a straw. There is nothing like
Beauty. It stops your heart. It
Thickens your blood. It stops your breath. It
Makes you feel dirty. You need a hot bath.
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched.
I thought I would die if she saw me.
How could I exist in the same world with that brightness?
Two years later she smiled at me. She
Named my name. I thought I would wake up dead.
Her grown brothers walked with the bent-knee
Swagger of horsemen. They were slick-faced.
Told jokes in the barbershop. Did no work.
Their father was what is called a drunkard.
Whatever he was he stayed on the third floor
Of the big white farmhouse under the maples for twenty-five years.
He never came down. They brought everything up to him.
I did not know what a mortgage was.
His wife was a good, Christian woman, and prayed.
When the daughter got married, the old man came down wearing
An old tail coat, the pleated shirt yellowing.
The sons propped him. I saw the wedding. There were
Engraved invitations, it was so fashionable. I thought
I would cry. I lay in bed that night
And wondered if she would cry when something was done to her.
The mortgage was foreclosed. That last word was whispered.
She never came back. The family
Sort of drifted off. Nobody wears shiny boots like that now.
But I know she is beautiful forever, and lives
In a beautiful house, far away.
She called my name once. I didn't even know she knew it.
(Stanza 3 & 4)
- Love at first sight
- Expressing how he was extremely attracted to the girl's beauty
Point of View
(The lovable idiot)
(The Silent One)
(The Metal Head)
(The Sentimental One)