The Silken Tent : by Robert Frost || Summary and Analysis

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The Silken Tent

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,

But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

She is as in a field a silken tent At midday when the sunny summer breeze Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent, So that in guys it gently sways at ease, And its supporting central cedar pole, That is its pinnacle to heavenward And signifies the sureness of the soul, Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
The Silken Tent

Summary and Analysis

Introduction:

      The Silken Tent is a fine love poem, warm, tender and sincere, from A Witness Tree. As in other Frost love poems, there is no passion, only love and admiration. Glorification of loving concern toward beloved illustrated by the lover.

Summary:

      The Silken Tent is a sonnet built on the elaboration of a single metaphor. The image of the tent in the first four lines shifts to the image of the tent pole in the second four. The analogy with the woman, established in the first words of the sonnet, takes over again in the last lines to emphasise on the positive aspects of her apparent independence. But the bondage, though loose, does exist. The 'ties' give support and strength to the tent; on the metaphorical level, human ties give the woman her lonely humanity. 'Silken', 'loose', and ranging 'the compass round', they yet bind her. The freedom is susceptible to the capriciousness of lite's puls.

Critical Remarks:

      The masterly simplicity of the poem is the outcome of assured craftsmanship. However, there is no artificiality or rhetoric. The paradoxical attitude to the 'ties', giving support and strength but restricting freedom, gives a richness to the poem.

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