Theme- Unrequited, unnatainable love. Voice is passionate and full of longing.
Form- Ghazal, traditional Persian love poem. Possible about imagined relationship. Couplets, repeated double rhyme and refrain.
Structure- Each stanza is different.
Language- About nature, being in love. Natural images make poem seem timeless. About the ideals of love. Looks at intensity love can be to the point of obsession. Playfullness, different images, enjoy being in love/ imagined love. Gentle images, some violent inkeeping with ghazal.
Elaborate set of images made up of pairs. Two opposites, reflect two different positions of the loved one & the unloved one. Speaker is unloved one.
Repetition of 'if' at the beginning of many lines also suggests the speaker is imagining a relationship.
The lover is only a would-be lover? In first couplet there is a desire to be wooed, the same request is a constant refrain expressed in different ways throughout the poem.
"arms around my bark, arms that never knew me" reinforced by the fervent plea "of that I were bark" suggests that the speaker feels a deep longing.
Desperation to be wooed
"If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me.
If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me."
Repetition, supposed scenario, worked out different scenarios of being loved. Imagined relationship? Opposites. Desire to be wooed.
"If you are the rhyme and I the refrain, don't hang
on my lips, come and I'll come too when you cue me."
Enjambement, allows for a fluid movement. Emphasises her waiting for him to call her. Waiting for him to cue her, call her too him.
"If yours is the iron fist in the velvet glove
when the arrow flies, the heart is pierced, tattoo me."
Want's him to be firm but also gentle at the same time. Traditional tatoo for love- pierced heart.
Longing to be loved
"If mine is the venemous tongue, the serpent's tail,
charmer, use your charm, weave a spell and subdue me."
Dangerous animal imagery, uses that to describe herself, she isn't tame or gentle. She wants him to both tease her and be in contorl.
"If I am the laurel leaf in your crown, you are
the arms around my bark, arms that never knew me."
Emperors wore crowns with Laurel leafs in them, powerful, superior. Sence of longing to be loved and cared for. Suggests speaker has imagined relationship.
"Oh would that I were bark! So old and still in leaf.
And you, dropping in my shade, dew to bedew me!"
Exclimation, sence of longing. So wrapped up in the moment, to be in love.
Want to be persued
"What shape should I take to marry your own, have you
-hawk to my shaddow, moth to my flame- persue me?"
She will be whatever he wants her to be. What should I do to win you? How should I change so you will like me? She wants him to be the active one in the relationship, asking him how should she change at the same time.
"If i rise in the east as you die in the west,
die for my sake, my love, every night renew me."
One is the sun and one is the moon, one is more powerful than the other. She is the moon, he is the sun, he dies so she can rise. Inbalance of power.
"If, when it ends, we are just good friends, be my Friend,
muse, lover and guide, Shamsuddin to my Rumi."
Very lonely, so obsessed that she needs him to be with her somehow. Shamsuddin is superior to Rumi, head of household, more powerful.
Last stanza and Compare
"Be heaven and earth to me and I'll be twice the me
I am, if only half the world you are to me."
Name of the poet in last stanza, play on words- Mimi. Traditional. She wants him to be everything to her, her whole world. He will make her better than she is now.
The Farmer's Bride- about unrequited love.
Sonnet 43- about the quality of true love.