The World as Meditation

963 words 4 pages
Where is the line that separates imagination and reality? Can imagination heal a wounded heart? In the poem, The World as Meditation by Wallace Stevens, Penelope, seeking to allay her irresistible longing for her husband, immerses in a metaphysical state of thought about Odysseus and their love. Her daily engagement in such form of imagination illuminates her unbending loyalty, growing yearning, and unconditional love towards her husband. Through various literary devices, Stevens shows the power of imagination to fortify one’s mind by shifting away from the cold reality and venturing into a realm of transcendental thoughts: an empowering meditation. Stevens begins the poem, emphasizing Penelope’s mixture of doubt and yearning for …show more content…

From stanza 1 to 5, the theme centered on yearning and hope, however in the 6th stanza, the tone changes abruptly by opposition through “but”. The increasing doubt she carries verges her more toward the cruel reality when she this time separates the presence of Odysseus from the sun. The pillow provides comfort, a sanctuary after a sore day. The “warmth” of the sun augments the comfort it provides, however, she no longer make the two equivalent, stretching the distance she feels toward Odysseus, implying that such comfort would never be endowed to her because “it was only day” and nothing else, the final realization after the two curiosity beats together “like her heart”. Despite the augmented doubt, she never ceased to yearn. The answer to her throbbing question is “it was Ulysses and it was not”, which paradoxically states that Ulysses lies only in her imagination yet in reality its not, and the barbarous strength within her would “never fail”, implying that her mighty strength, would be spent for imagination, and perhaps till death. Penelope would repeat his name in “patient syllables”- treasuring the name a residue in the memoir of Odysseus- “as she combed her hair”. Combing is what women do everyday, and one can be absent minded while doing this routine activity. Combing tidies up the hair,


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