"Tears"

By: Edward Thomas

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"Tears"

It seems I have no tears left. They should have fallen--

Their ghosts, if tears have ghosts, did fall--that day

When twenty hounds streamed by me, not yet combed out

But still all equals in their rage of gladness

Upon the scent, made one, like a great dragon

In Blooming Dragon that bends toward the sun

and once bore hops: and on that other day

When I stepped out from the double-shadowed Tower

Into an April morning, stirring and sweet

And warm. Strange solitude was there and silence.

A mightier charm than any in the Tower

Possessed in the courtyard. They were changing guard

Soldiers in line, young English countrymen,

Fair-haired and ruddy, in white tunics. Drums

and fifes were playing "The British Grenadiers".

The men, the music piercing that solitude

and silence, told me truths I had not dreamed

And have forgotten since their beauty passed.

Literal Interpretation

It is a soldier's perspective about the area surrounding him during a war. This could possibly be Edward speaking as he was a soldier.
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Situation

It doesn't tell a story as much as explain what is happening. It has a sad and lonely tone to it. When the speaker says "It seems i have no tears left." it shows his sadness while "strange solitude was there and silence" shows his loneliness. The speaker is a soldier who could possibly be Edward as he was a soldier.

Structure

It is free form because the writer felt as if his feelings could not be expressed within the traditional form. It might not have been taken as seriously. It is free association that just has the speaker observing the world around him. There are seven sentences within the eighteen lines. This poem is practically just enjambment because the writer is just stating what he is seeing and isn't making much effort to fit within the lines. The title symbolizes the tears the soldier has shed and how he feels like he is unable to shed anymore.

Language

The language seems to fall somewhere between formal and simple. Solitude and silence seem to display his loneliness. The phrase "like a great dragon in Blooming Meadow that bends toward the sun and once bore hops" seems to symbolize the horrors of war because the great dragon would destroy this Blooming Meadow with its leap or at least those flowers that it has already trampled just like an invading country causes destruction wherever it appears. This seems to give the poem an even more depressing edge than that which it already carries.

Musical Devices

There is no rhyme scheme which gives the poem more of a serious edge. There really isn't a meter or any "sound effects" either. It is just a man speaking and letting his thoughts flow onto the paper as they flowed through his mind.