Having it Out with Melancholy Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Having it Out with Melancholy.
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Hope and Hopelessness

Poems with subjects laid bare before the reader and with language as plain as casual conversation tend to have fairly obvious themes. "Having it Out with Melancholy" is no exception, although its premise is a little unusual. As the title suggests, there is an argument occurring between the speaker and her own mental illness, which she personifies as "melancholy." Like most quarrels, this one involves give and take, and there is a constant flux of feelings. Essentially, the speaker fluctuates be- tween hope and hopelessness—a theme, as well as a condition, that lies at the very core of clinical depression.

The poem's first four stanzas are shrouded with the dismal prospect of going from birth to death without ever having a truly good moment. The speaker literally comes out of her mother's womb already depressed. The disease lurks in her nursery, follows her through school...

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This section contains 606 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Having it Out with Melancholy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Having it Out with Melancholy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.