Juyi and Sappho are famous Chinese poets who lived centuries ago. They are renowned for their great literacy works that are still read to date. This paper will focus on the manner in which these two poets depicted women and love in their works. The poem” The Bloom is not a Bloom” by Juyi Bai is a 6 line short poem that is open to many interpretations. However, for this paper, we assume the speaker was talking about a woman he loved. In the second poem, “No word” by Sappho, the story is about a woman who has lost her lover and has received no word from her since her teary departure. This paper will explore the meaning of the poems as well as reveal how the poets represent their opinion of women in their lives.
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The poem, “The Bloom is not a Bloom” by Juyi Bai talks about things, which are not seeming, what they are, indeed; hence is the title of poetry, “The Bloom is not a Bloom”. The bloom refers to a birth of something beautiful, which is mostly associated with flowers. When flowers are buds about to bloom, they become beautiful flowers that are admired and loved by many. The same case applied to love and women. The author talks about a love, which seems to grow and disappear without a trace. Hence, he says, ”at midnight she comes and goes again at dawn” (Bai, 1983, stanza 1, line3). The poet is trying to show how temporary women are in his life. He seems to be lamenting the loss of a love, and he is never sure how long the next one will last; hence he asks, ”how long will she stay”? He compares her to mist and a morning cloud, which never last beyond the morning, showing that women are temporary and short occasion in his life. This is his perspective of women in his life.
Sappho’s poem, “No word”, on the other hand, is a love poem dedicated a lost lover. The speaker is so heartbroken that he wishes she was dead rather than feel the pain of loss. Her lover had left her shackled in love although she left unwillingly. It is not clear why her lover left but it is apparent that the two shared a lot of great memories. For instance, in lines 7, 8 and 9, the speaker pleads with her lover not to forget the great times they shared. The poem has a very sad tone as the speaker openly talks of the good times the two shared.
Both these authors talk about a lost love. In Juyi’s case, his love comes and goes every time. He is never sure how long she will stay each time she comes. In the case of Sappho, she implores her lover to maintain the good memories they have shared. She is extremely sad that her lover left and has never sent word to her despite the lovely memories they share. This shows how much these two yearn for their loved ones but they cannot have them to their satisfaction as they desire.
The poet in the poem “The Bloom is not the Bloom” uses a lot of similes and symbolism to define his woman. In line 5, he compares her to a spring dream and in 6 he compares her to a morning cloud, both these comparisons are temporary features that never last. (Bai, 1983)There is a lot of ambiguity in the poem, where the poet does not directly say that he is talking about a woman and chooses to use “she” instead. This leaves the readers with the choice to decide what “she” represents. In this case, we assume, he is referring to a woman he loves and cares for, but she never gives him enough time since she keeps coming and going when conditions are favorable. However, his poem is based on real things.
“No word”, on the other is based on a sad love story. The poem talks about the sorrow she undergoes when her lover leaves and never bothers to communicate. Hence, the title of the poem “No word” is literal as the lover has not sent any word since she left. This breaks the heart of the speaker very much. The poem makes several references to the goddess of love, Aphrodite, proof of the intense love that the two lovers shared. (Sappho, 2002)
Both these poems depict women as creatures who are unpredictable when it comes to love. In Sappho’s poem, the speaker is a woman who is heartbroken and desperate, her lover left but she never expected that he would forget her so fast. Juyi's poem, on the other hand, tells a story of a man who craves his woman, but she is so unpredictable that he cannot be certain about when she will appear and how long she will last each time she comes. (Bai, 1983)This represents the nature of women in love and marriage. The poem also depicts women as opportunistic beings, who take advantage of anything that can benefit them. For instance, in Juyi's poem, the lady blooms, when conditions are favorable, in this case, at sundown; however, the lady disappears towards the sunset. Logically, flowers bloom when conditions are favorable; hence, the flower in this poem, which represent the woman disappears when things are about to get bad. This could be in the form of getting away from the harsh sun and only appearing when its sundown. In Sappho's poem, the speaker’s lover took advantage of Sappho’s love towards her then left without a trace and never sent any word. (Sappho, 202) Thus, the poem is a tribute and her way of remembering a lost love. Finally, both these poems depict women as cruel when it comes to love. The lovers who leave their lovers have no regard of the heartache and sorrow they cause.
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