We all have certain patterns that we follow in lives. Everything on this earth and even the nature has its patterns. But these patterns are sometimes broken and they shatter the person completely.
A woman’s boundless love for her lover has been captured and expressed through many images of such patterns in this poem. There is a pattern in woman’s dress, in the blossoming flowers, in the falling water drops and other. But tragically, this pattern is also broken by the unfortunate death of her lover.
The woman’s image is highlighted by the ‘stiff, brocade gown’ that she is wearing. There is a pattern in her dress, because this gown is her wedding dress. The poem is an expression to a woman’s dream of being able to meet his lover whom she is waiting to marry soon.
The woman’s sense of freedom and carefree self has been beautifully figured by using the imageries of blowing daffodils, ’flutter in breeze’ etc. The woman’s passion for her love comes to light from the fact that she is ready to bear the discomfort of wearing the rich wedding gown just in the hope that her lover will return soon.
The woman is able to feel free and move unrestricted at her will in spite of the stiff, imprisoning gown that she is wearing. The brocaded gown symbolizes the social boundaries and restrictions imposed upon her. ‘And the train makes a pink and silver stain’ is a metamorphic way to refer to the training that she received as a would-be bride to a man of high respect and honor. It suggests that she was trained to behave high class and eloquent with her behavior and dress up and could not be like her true self. But she waits eagerly for her lover who can set her free from all the social boundaries and let her lead the ways of their lives.
She is longing to see her lover return and imagines her presence so that she can lead her own way and follow her own paths without. She thinks once she meets and becomes one with her lover, she would no longer be in the mould that the society has created to confine her freedom. Her lover’s uniform is to suggest that he is some war field obeying his duties .All the patterns that woman’s life follows are meant for her lover.
The bitter part of the story comes when the woman hears the news of the death of her lover. She feels helpless and deserted and her brocade dress becomes a waste. Out of shock, she becomes stiff like her brocade dress and cries hard. The tears fall down her eyes and she is in deep pain and emotional loss after hearing the bad news. She still remembers the time when her lover had promised to be with her and she finds it difficult to believe that he is dead now. Thus her lover’s death renders all the meaningful and cheery patterns useless.
An eighteenth century Englishwoman walks through an elegantly patterned garden. The carefully arranged garden paths and flower beds cause her to reflect that her society has similarly arranged her, seeing to it that she will passively endure her stiff, brocaded gown, her powdered hair, and a jewelled fan after the fashion of the day. Although her pink and silver gown and high-heeled ribboned shoes are decorative, the woman feels imprisoned, sealed off from the softness and passion of her heart, her true self.
At first she feels that both she and the flowers are locked into rigid patterns, but she begins to realize that her situation is mocked by the wider liberty of nature. Inspired by the greater freedom of the flowers and trees, she passes a marble fountain and sees herself bathing nude in the basin, all the while imagining that her lover is hiding in the nearby hedge, observing her. Continuing the fantasy, she imagines the water sliding over her body as would her lover’s hand. The sensuality of summer makes her wish to shed her restrictive, conventionally feminine clothing for a newly liberated body whose nudity expresses a more desirable combination of pink and silver.
She imagines herself running fluidly through the maze of paths, laughing, pursued by her lover, who will eventually catch and embrace her, the buttons of his military uniform pressing sensuously against her flesh, allowing her to achieve the erotic release she has been...
(The entire section is 496 words.)