Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Prithee Give Me Back My Heart

You'll be writing about this poem for your first assignment, due on the 24th February (see previous post).  A warmup seems apt, does it not? It's a famous lyric by John Hughes.

Analyze your assigned stanza as you did with the previous poem by Jonson. Please remember that lead-ins and quotations need to make grammatical sense together. And if you use a block quotation, remember that it does not employ quotation marks.


I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart  (John Hughes, c. 1640)


I prithee send me back my heart
  Since I cannot have thine;
For if from yours you will not part,
  Why, then, shouldst thou have mine?

My stanza is the first of the poem and I think it has a significant effect on the tone of the poem and how it sets up the rest of the stanzas. The first part begins with prithee and in my opinion it is about a man begging for his heart back from his ex lover because she has broken it. He then goes on to say that he cannot have her heart. From reading other stanzas I can infer that she may be selfish and that she is not willing to give her all and put in her best effort into the relationship. She will not part from her own heart and her ways, she does not want to have to accommodate for anyone other than herself. He then begins to ask her a question that if she does not want to give her heart away then why shouldn’t she have his heart. It is more of a rhetorical question in my opinion because I do not think he actually wanted an answer from that question, just for her to think about it. I believe that he wants her to change and be better woman for him but she is not one to stray from her routine.

In lines one through four of John Hughes “I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart” the author’s words are essentially “I beg you to somehow release me from loving you/ since you do not love me;/ If you won’t surrender your love to me/ why should I keep loving you?” (1-4). The speaker of Hughes poem appears to be in a relationship that has either ended or was one-sided. The speaker still has feelings for the subject and is begging her or him to “send me back my hear” or, to help the speaker stop loving him or her. The speaker also condemns the subject of the lyric for either having withdrawn or not having returned his or her feelings. The logic given is “why should I still love you if you do not love me?”
The most telling line is the fourth line: “Why then shouldst thou have mine?” This line communicates the underlying bitterness that the speaker feels due to a lack of reciprocation of his or her feelings. The first stanza uses an alternating rhyme scheme ABAB. This poem is written in iamb and the meter/ feet alternate between tetrameter and trimester. This stanza does not utilize assonance, resonance, alliteration or other internal lyrical techniques other than the simple alternating end rhymes.
The overall theme of the poem is simple as well. In the conclusion of the work, the speaker has decided to “let [my heart] lie” rather than having it back (5). The subject of the poem is depicted as 
conniving and likely to steal the speaker’s heart once again (8). With the bitterness of the remainder of the poem, the first stanza tempers that bitterness by showing the reader the depth of the speaker’s pain. The first four lines contribute to the overall work by establishing the purpose for writing the poem: unrequited love.


Yet now I think on’t, let it lie,                          5
  To find it were in vain;
For thou hast a thief in either eye
  Would steal it back again!

The poem "I Prithee Give Me Back My Heart", is a poem that depicts the turmoil that a man is going through because of his one sided love. The poem starts off with the narrator asking his love to return his heart to him because he knows that she is not willing to give him her heart in exchange and as John Hughes says, "Why then should thoust have mine?"
The verse that I am focusing on comes right after that and shows how the narrator immediately has a change of heart. The second stanza starts with the narrator saying, "Yet now I think on't, let it lie." This verse means that the narrator has thought about it more and decided that they should just forget about the whole idea. In the second line of the stanza, he says, "To find it were in vain." He is saying that even if his heart were returned to him, it would be for nothing. The reason for this is explained in the last two verses of the stanza when the narrator says, "For thou hast a thief in either eye, Would steal it back again!" These two verses explain that even if the woman returned his heart, she would just steal it back again by simply looking at him.
This verse is important to the poem because it shows the power that this woman has over him. The poem starts off with him making a stance by telling her to give him back his love for her if she won't love him in return. The second stanza is his realization that what he asks for is impossible to do and even if it was returned, nothing would change. The remaining stanzas show the narrator lamenting his situation then eventually coming to terms with it. This stanza may seem like a small part of the poem but it is actually an important moment. It shows the beginning of the narrator's acceptance that he may never stop loving her and she may never love him in the same way.

In the first stanza of John Hughes’ poem, I Prithee Send Me Back My Heart the speaker ruminates on unrequited love, in fact, his own. In the first stanza, implores the object of his desire to “send back [his] heart” (1). However, what begins as a usual plea for mercy takes a turn in the second stanza. The reader is alerted to the change in tone with the first two words of the first line, “yet now”; not only is there a change in tone, the line is composed in such a way as to emphasize the immediacy of the speaker’s emotions. The text is such that it appears the reader is privy to the speaker’s thoughts as they occur.
Whereas the first stanza creates a palpable feeling of angst, with the second stanza, the speaker eschews mercy from his beloved. Instead, he seems to find it a “vain” (6) entreaty. Here he seems to recognize the futility in asking for his heart to be returned for when he would look into “either eye” his heart would only be stolen “back again” (8). The phrasing in “hast a thief in either eye” accuses her of thievery, placing the speaker’s predicament solely on his unrequited love’s shoulders, thus absolving him of any weakness. Unable to resist her, he decides not to fight his unfortunate fate. While his apparent acceptance does not keep him from bemoaning his wretched state in the following stanzas; however the second stanza proves important in conveying the helplessness in the face of his love’s charms. Indeed, his sad realization that even if he were to be granted clemency, in short order he would, once again, be under her spell.
All five of the stanzas in this poem speak to a man suffering unrequited love, including the second stanza, but it is that stanza that the hopelessness of his situation is most strongly depicted. He desires release but decides to “let it lie” (5) in acknowledgment of the futility in his situation.


Why should two hearts in one breast lie
  And yet not lodge together?                            10
Oh, Love, where is thy sympathy,
  If thus our breasts thou sever?

In lines nine through twelve of John Hughes’ poem I Prithee Give Me Back My Heart, Hughes seems to be questioning the reciprocated feelings of his love. How can she not give her heart to him but hold onto his and have both hearts within her possession, “Why should two hearts in one breast lie and yet not lodge together?” How can these two hearts lie within one being and still not morph together to form a strong bond. This is where I get the sense that he does in fact know, that his feelings are not being given back from her in the ways that he may want them to. “Oh, Love, where is thy sympathy”, the speaker is questioning whether their love will finally care once they have been separated and his heart is where it belongs. The use of “breasts severing”, makes us think that his love is so strong that the only way to get his heart back would be through excruciating pain on both sides, by splitting their breasts apart. Finally I think Hughes is telling her that he has changed his mind and will let her keep his heart because in the end, if he were to get it back, it would only be a matter of time before it was stolen by her again.

In the poem John Hughes said telling a story about a woman that he has fallen for however, they do not care the same about him. In line nine “Why should two hearts in one breast lie” this means, in context with the first part of the poem, why should the one he loves have his heart as well as her own. The love that one has should be given in both ways and not just one. The end part of this line is “And yet not lodge together” this is saying that his heart and hers, when in the same breast, are not joined together as he thinks they should be. She has given nothing and he has given his heart to her with no exception. The next part of the stanza “Love, where is thy sympathy” is asking her why she does not give sympathy when he has love for her but she gives nothing back to him. The end part of this is telling that if we sever our hearts then why is it that she has taken his love and yet does not give any in return.


But love is such a mystery,
  I cannot find it out;
For when I think I’m best resolved,                 15
  I then am most in doubt.

In lines fifteen through eighteen of John Hughes’ poem I Prithee Give Me Back My Heart, Mr. Hughes seems to be talking about the complexity of love and how difficult it is to understand how it effects us mentally and emotionally. It is familiar rhetoric that has been written about in poetry, drama, and even comedy, for centuries. This is a strong and repetitive theme that most people can identify with on some basic level—often due to their own experiences.
His choice to speak of the mystery of love seems appropriate in the context of the rest of the poem. It’s like he is both stating that it is a mystery and asking why love would be so cruel that it would allow itself to manifest so strongly when perhaps that love is not reciprocated in its entirety, or not entirely within our control. This is followed up by the line “I cannot find it out;” which is a way of saying that even after much thought and self-exploration, the answers to these questions still manage to allude him. An idea that is reinforced when he states that even when he believes that he has managed to work through it, he finds himself even more confused than ever because the rational part of his mind disagrees with his emotional self—hence the paradoxical style mystery that people often encounter when trying to reason through love and heartbreak by using logic and forethought.

Hughes’ poem is an exploration of one person’s love for another and his want for understanding and his desire to know whether or not that love is reciprocated as fully and as completely as he wants it to be. It’s a poem of contemplation and giving one’s self up to their own emotions and the arms of another and accepting love as it is, and my particular section would seem to be his effort to reason with himself and come to terms with the fact that love doesn’t always make sense, nor can it always be reasoned with.

The subject of lines thirteen through sixteen in John Hughes’ poem “I Prithee, Give Me Back My Heart” is fairly straightforward. In these lines, he is basically saying that love is elusive for him, and that when he thinks he has it all “figured out”, it ends up getting away from him all over again. This is not a relatively new line of thought on the subject either; many men before him and plenty of men since have felt the same way about love. So while the lines themselves may seem completely cut and dry, there is actually more to that- and to the poem, then a man simply waxing poetical (literally) about the folly of love.
            What’s particularly interesting about this stanza in relation to the rest of the poem is the defeatist attitude that is present in the whole work, which seems to come to a head in these lines, when he essentially ‘gives up’ on the notion of love altogether. Originally, the poem starts with him speaking about a specific woman, but by this point, it’s as if he has encompassed the notion of love in its entirety in his pessimism.
      Most people would take this poem and believe it to be a masterpiece work on the folly of love. In this, there is disagreement. There are plenty of ways to write about unrequited love, and a plethora of other examples to compare this to that are equally well written or even superior to this work in terms of expressing the sorrow a person can feel in their pining being all for nothing. This poem, however, has a tone more akin to whining entitlement than anything else. It is, after all, written by a man who tries to claim he has thought deeply on the matter of love and ‘almost’ figured it out, only to have it allude him, as if he is some great Grecian philosopher. Pity is the poor girl who ‘stole’ John Hughes’ heart- or, rather, the girl who would just as soon have him stop writing passive aggressive love poems when he fails to get his way, more like.


Then farewell, Care, and farewell, Woe,
  I will no longer pine;
For I’ll believe I have her heart
  As much as she hath mine.                                  20

These are the closing statements of the entire poem and conclusion/resolution to the thoughts of the speaker.
Throughout the poem the speaker talks about the hardships of love and the effects that they have had on him. It is clear the speaker has been hurt by love but still seeks to love/be loved. After communicating all of his fears and worries that are involved with love, Hughes comes to a resolution on the subject. Lines 17-18 state…
“Then farewell, Care, and farewell, Woe,
I will no longer pine;”
The speaker is directly telling “Care” and “Woe” “farewell”. The speaker communicates that when he loves he will no longer be careful or express grief, regret, or distress. When the speaker communicates that he “will no longer pine”, he is saying that he will no longer yearn for love so intensely because he is losing vigor.
Lines 19-20 state…
“For I’ll believe I have her heart
As much as she hath mine.”

Throughout the poem Hughes speaks about the troubles he has with love. It seems like it has affected him hard, and he is trying to figure out why. In the ending lines, 17-20, he is coming to a conclusion on how he is going to handle things. In line 17, “Then farewell, Care, and farewell, Woe,” he is treating “Care” and “Woe” as if they were nouns. Hughes is saying he is done caring about love and also done worrying about it. Line 18, “I will no longer pine,” is saying he will no longer search for love or have any dealings with it. The last two lines say, “For I’ll believe I have her heart, as much as she hath mine.” These last two lines were a little bit more difficult to interpret. Perhaps Hughes is saying that he’ll pretend that the woman he loves, loves him equally as much as he loves her. So now since he is pretending to feel loved, he doesn’t have to worry or care about it anymore. Hence the two lines that came before.

            It seems like Hughes or whoever the speaker may be is giving up on the idea of love. Everything that came before lines 17-20 explain his troubles. He gave his heart to a woman however, she did not give him hers. The speaker is puzzled by this because if he loves her why can’t she love him back? He continues to question why they can’t love each other and calls love a “mystery” that he can’t figure out. At the end he comes to the conclusion that he is done with love and will stop caring about it. 

Hughes seems to illustrate throughout the poem, a speaker that begins with an idea that his love returned their heart. As the poem progresses, the speaker quickly changes their mind and speaks in a tone of bitterness and conceit. Hughes illustrates the pain and hardships that love may bring onto a person with deep regret of allowing a person to posses their heart or love. In the closing of the poem, the speaker directly states a farewell to “Care” and “Woe” meaning he will no longer bear an attachment or live with great sorrow due to a once love. This could also serve as a tactic in hopes that the speaker’s love will change her mind after already rejecting him. He proceeds in stating, “I will no loner pine;” (18) the speaker is suggesting that he will no longer suffer from a mental decline from a broken heart or long for the return of his love. Rather than in a state of sadness and regret throughout the poem, the speaker is beginning to acknowledge that he no longer wants to be in pain or suffering of a lost love. Yet in ending, “For I’ll believe I have her heart,/ As much as she hath mine.” (19-20) depicts a sort of confusion that the speaker believes to possess the heart of his love just as his love possesses his. Hughes incorporates the illusion that even after bearing a broken heart or lost love that brings suffrage onto a person will mend itself in the end by believing love will always return.

1 comment:

  1. Wow i never thought i will happy in my life ever again, i want you all to thank DR OGUDUGU of GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM, he is a father that takes care of his children the spell caster of our time, he has saved me from a very ugly situation that almost made my life miserable and i want you all to thank him for me,my husband and i have be married for so many years now with children and the relationship was being threatened by a small girl in his working place,she was almost destroying my home i met so many spell casters but to no avail until i met a friend who came from africa and she told me about DR OGUDUGU, and i decided to contact him and try him out as i was losing faith in all spell casters, but he told not to worry that now am in his temple everything will be alright he assured me 100% that his spell has no side effects and that it will work straight and save my home and my marriage and after he has performed the sacrifices and casted the spell, my husband came back to us with love and affection and he loved us more and more and he never looked back or none did his love for me waiver, if you are also experiencing this sort of your situation in your home, if your husband is drifting away, if you are experiencing a broken home or you have lost your husband to a young woman outside there then look no further help is here as GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM is ready to help you out okay for any of your problem is it financial needs, revenge spell,Hiv cure, job spell, promotion spell what kind of spell do you need DR OGUDUGU is going to solve it for you okay i have promised him to always talk of his good works to the world in general and to any body who cares to listen, you can email him on his personal email on GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM or his website @ www.greatdrogudugusolutiontemple.webs.com and he will attend to you as soon as possible okay once again his email is GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM.