Poem Summaries



  • The narrator longs to be with the woman he is adressing. The whole poem is an arguement designed to persuade the woman that 'Nothing in the world is single' and is frustrated that all of nature is in harmony except for him and his lover. The lack of harmony is reflected by the disruption of the reguar rhyme scheme by two half rhymes, 'river/ever'. The repetition of physical language, 'clasp' and 'kiss' emphasise his desire for her.


  • The narrator cant stop thinking about her lover and when they are not together , she compares her thoughts to 'wild vines', which cover a tree until there is 'nought to see'. She isnt satisfied with jus thinking about her lover. She calls her thoughts the 'straggling green which hides the wood', she is concerned that her thoughts will obscure the reality of him.
  • The narrator feels 'deep joy' when she is with her lover. The 'new air' she breathes implies she feels revived around him. The use of exclamation marks emphasise her excitement.  
  • The narrator and lover are seperated physically. She descirbes her thoughts about him as 'vines' which 'twine and bud'. This reflects the physical closeness that she wants. She takes 'joy' in the thought of overcoming the distance and her thoughst being 'burst shattered everywhere'. Emphasised by the use of the present tense on the last line.
  • The narrator's thoughts are compares to 'wild vines' this image of rapid, unrestrained growth suggests that her thoughts are out of control. There are hints that such an intense desire can be dangerous, the vines 'inspehere' the tree threaten to strangle it. Violent language such as 'burst shattered' also hints it could become destructive. When she is with her lover, she feels she can 'breeathe ..new air', suggests his love is nesccary for life.


  • The cold cottage reflects the narrator feelings of loneliness and despair when he is not with Porphyria. He listens for her 'with heart fit to break', his longing has pushed him to breaking point. The narrator says that Porphyria is 'too weak' to overcome her 'pride' and 'vainer ties' which reveals frustration that he yearns for her and doesnt seem to like her spending time elsewhere. His love becomes destructive when he 'srangled her'
  • The narrators desire for Porphyria is shown through physcial descriptions of her 'yellow hair' and 'smooth white shoulder'. The repetition of and creates a trance like effect which reflects how he is transfixed by her. However, he doesnt want just Porphyria, he wants to posess her, emphasised by the repetition of 'mine mine'. By killing her, he has her all to himself.
  • The narrator wants to preserve the 'moment' when he feels Porphyria's love is…


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