Analysis of the Poem “Letter to a Friend” by Jon Stallworthy As a whole, the first stanza of “Letter to a Friend” by Jon Stallworthy presents a content that occurs relevant to the political state of affairs in turbulence at the time of the speaker. This is quite evident in the third and fourth lines with “The eunuch voice of scholarship, / Or the reformer’s rage” for which the tone of resentment is congruous to the word ‘rage’ which seems present even with the former correspondences. Despite the current absence of the friend in the act of blaming, the friend’s anguish can be felt in the writer’s remorse on initiating and repeating the phrase “You blame me that …” which equivalently depicts how much their relationship has been strained by the settings of politics and associated concerns. Adding “Truculent nations” somehow directs a reader to the major idea with the cause of misunderstanding that seemingly arises from neglect on the side of the speaker. Instead of growing fondness, the poem’s initial stanza develops out of bitter response which hints at some justification to be brought across at a later time. apparently, there emerges huge conflict between the two friends in interactive exchange with each other for a while and the frequent inability to confer in person gets in the way of proper communication in which meaning and purpose are both conveyed to be fully understood by heart. However, it is not merely the lack of physical contact that causes deep trouble on aiming to generate smooth and warm connections but even the expectations that are built yet are not met in the process. Thu, to the same friend who either throws the narrator an accusation or assumption to satisfy, the latter replies “I answer that my poems all / Are woven out of love’s loose ends” to express his choice of flexibility prior to taking a relevant action. ‘Loose ends of love’ must be that sort of real affection that considers more of patience, openness, and perhaps, the readiness to forgive by virtue of true friendship. With the second stanza, Stallworthy exhibits greater degree or intensity regarding matters which the first-person speaker has been unable to accomplish. At this stage, the poet further makes the effort of defining the character behind the narrative voice on detailing at bulk “The banner-headline fact / Of rape and death in bungalows, / Cities and workmen sacked.” It becomes clear around this point the reasonable ground or basis with which the friend reserves the right to demand justice via the necessary act or move by the trusted companion. Implicitly, though this portion of the work bears a missing information that could have adequately enabled the narrator to explain certain measures which cannot be possibly carried out, he opts to settle the extremes of sentiment down, stating “Tomorrow’s time enough to rant of those.” He hopes for his friend to perceive the light of truth in his sincerity to impart contribution yet the occurrences of the period they live in are just too much to deal with that the writer appears to allude no sufficient resources and potentials are with them to acquire the desired resolution for the political struggle. Under these circumstances, he wants his friend to realize the beauty of the uncorrupted world in order to replenish inner strength and fresh good insights as he claims that the facts of life are sought in the idea of the basics or simplicity that may be identified with objects of pure nature as “cloud, star, leaf, and water’s dance.” Stallworthy comes up with a final stanza where he looks forward for the reader to have gone as far as discerning the profound thoughts of the speaker who strives to allow his friend yield to the complete knowledge of all his conscious endeavor. No matter how largely the other man keeps on blaming his inaction, the writer-speaker is socially aware and sensitive of the reality along with its perils as he numerates with enjambment “At cities, swivelled, from / The eye of the crazy gunman, or / The man who drops the bomb.” Towards the letter’s conclusion, the poem actually demonstrates that there are two distinct worlds that are very far from each other being marked by the speaker’s confession “I have seen fields beyond the smoke” where he intends to mean that he learns to reside in a dimension of affectionate sensibility rather than of philosophic rationality. Indeed, there is ample difference between a looking-glass that can only provide clarity of view and a window that serves as a metaphor of enlightening vision.
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