And What If I Spoke of Despair - Analysis Summary & Analysis

Ellen Bass
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Although the poem's title points to despair, the author is hopeful in her love and faith that it can be conquered, or at the very least, consoled. The idea that generates the despair is the harm done to the globe and the natural environment. Environmental issues belong to each person on the planet, but the author thinks they can only be felt personally on an individual basis for the most impact.

The poignant examples of beauty in nature trigger despair because of their ever-present fragility. The author provides examples that are universal in their appeal but are experienced personally, such as the rain on autumn leaves, the red moon in September or a family's summer outing at the beach. The possibility of losing these exquisite experiences generates despair.

The poem's theme is important, but it also exemplifies interesting style and technique. The author writes almost lyrically in describing...

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This section contains 592 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the And What If I Spoke of Despair Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
And What If I Spoke of Despair from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.