Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length

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Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length

Oh, stormy stormy world,
The days you were not swirled
Around with mist and cloud,
Or wrapped as in a shroud,
And the sun’s brilliant ball
Was not in part or all
Obscured from mortal view—
Were days so very few
I can but wonder whence
I get the lasting sense
Of so much warmth and light.
If my mistrust is right
It may be altogether
From one day’s perfect weather,
When starting clear at dawn,
The day swept clearly on
To finish clear at eve.
I verily believe
My fair impression may
Be all from that one day
No shadow crossed but ours
As through its blazing flowers
We went from house to wood
For change of solitude.

Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length Oh, stormy stormy world, The days you were not swirled Around with mist and cloud, Or wrapped as in a shroud, And the sun’s brilliant ball Was not in part or all Obscured from mortal view— Were days so very few I can but wonder whence I get the lasting sense Of so much warmth and light.
Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length

Analysis

Introduction:

      Happiness Makes Up in Height For What It Lacks in Length by Frost, from A Witness Tree is the rural retreat with house and wood inhabited by a couple. The speaker, however, is not a young man, but one who has lived beyond the tragic discovery and is now looking back.

Development of Thought:

      The central ideas of the poem is clearly presented in the title. Supreme happiness experienced for a short while compensates for the brevity with intensity. The one day of perfect happiness experienced by the couple in the poem compensates for a lifetime of 'mist and cloud' or want of happiness. On that one day, the couple went from the house to the wood 'for change of solitude'. They experienced here a happiness transmuting everything so that they gained an insight into the strength of man's spirit that can suffer evil and yet remember good.

Critical Remarks:

      In this simple poem, the metaphor of weather conveys the aspects of human life. The general sorrow and misery of human life is expressed through the metaphor of stormy weather, the mist and cloud hiding the sun's brilliant ball (i.e., happiness). But the speaker has a lasting sense of so much warmth and light because of that one day of clear weather.

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