Edward Thomas - analysis of quote 'And yet I am half in love with pain'
Thomas expresses the view that he is ‘half in love with pain’ in various poems, particularly ‘Melancholy’ and ‘Rain’. In both of these poems he seems to resent his troubles but also appreciates them in a rather unusual way. He expresses this by juxtaposing his inner states of joy and melancholy and the outer states of weather and the natural world.
Throughout ‘Melancholy’, we see a relationship between pain and pleasure as he presents them as two halves of a whole experience, where one is consistently reinforming the other, as an endless cycle and revolution, like the seasons. When looking at ‘Melancholy’, it is clear that Thomas is suffering and in sadness; it is a state of mind for him. This may also be due to his mother suffering from
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The rain is almost presented as both holy and as an evil reminder, perhaps as half pleasure and half pain. Thomas then goes on to say, ‘But here I pray that none whom once I loved / Is dying tonight or lying still awake / Solitary, listening to the rain’. Here we see that to Thomas, the sound of the rain is a sign of solitude and/or death; but this could perhaps be argued against, as death is the end to all pain. As we have seen earlier on in the poem, Thomas has resented death as it takes away his ability to enjoy the beauty of nature, ‘Remembering again that I shall die / And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks’. Thomas’ famous love for nature is taken away by death, and this is obviously a source of pain for him. However, towards the end of the poem, he states ‘If love it be towards what is perfect and / Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.’ Thomas finds that death is in a way, perfect, as it will dissolve his pain, and can not ‘disappoint’. It is clear that Thomas is conflicted with whether he wants to die, as he finds pleasure in the pain of this, too.
In conclusion, Thomas expresses that he is ‘half in love with pain’ through the juxtaposition of his inner views and comparing these with the states of weather: Thomas shows that pain often changes a human being in such a way that they become ‘magic’ and otherworldly, and this change of perspective makes him see the world in a different way, and this, is what