Poem: Life and Reality

In this poem, the poetess, Elizabeth Sewell, has made an extraordinary resolution to make herself a better woman by facing and living with reality in the start of the New Year. New Year is generally understood as starting of a new chapter of one’s life. People make resolution by taking stock of their lives and resolving to be better ones.
Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, is reported to have said that un-examined life is not worthy of living and it is almost a tradition with the sensible and reasonable people to take stock of their life and to resolve to be better people, at the start of the new year. So, the poetess has decided to live with reality in the New Year. Reality is not always comfortable but pinching and disturbing.
The use of the image “bony arms” points to this fact. But the poetess is resolute and will draw comfort fulfilling her resolution. The phrase ‘draining of long droughts is linked with drinking wine but the poetess intends to drink calmness and thinks it necessary for cleansing herself. It is quite natural and true that in loneliness and quiet one can examine one’s life honestly. It is a self-criticism. Life examined critically purifies one for better future life.

I will drain
Long draughts of quiet
As a purgation;
Reference
These lines have been taken from ‘New Year resolutions’ written by‘Elizabeth Sewell’.
CONTEXT:
Elizabeth Sewell determines to be quite so that she may know and judge her self. She may face the reality of life.
Explanation
In these lines the poetess describes her mental state and the way she would drink to purify her soul. She says that she will drink wine at night secretly. She will have long drops during night and will clean herself from all kinds of evils. This will assist her in helping other people because her own mind and spirit will be free from all types of evils. “Long draughts of Quiet” also suggests that she will keep quiet most of time. This will be the best means for the purification of her soul and it will help her in leading beneficial and successful life. She says; she will talk less and hear more and mold her life into betterment.
Remember
Twice daily
Who I am;
Explanation
In the given lines Elizabeth says, she will remember herself twice daily, in the evening and in the morning. She will take into consideration what her aim of creation is. She will try to understand the purpose of life in general. Perhaps she means that she should recognize herself, which will help her in recognizing God and leading life for benefit of others.
Will lie o’ nights
In the bony arms
Of Reality and comforted
Explanation
These are concluding lines of the poem. Here, the poetess says she will accept reality. While, sleeping at night, she will consider the bitter reality of life. During the new year she will make some promises and pledges. She will sleep on thin, less-fleshy arms of reality. Accepting reality and facts is always a difficult thing, but she will accept it bravely. She will feel relieved and satisfied, when she comes to know that she has spent her life for the benefit of others. The image of bony arms is a hard reality. Even then she will get delight and feel comforted when she has fulfilled her promises and resolutions, she has made on the start of the new year
New
In this poem, the poetess, Elizabeth Sewell, has made an extraordinary resolution to make herself a better woman by facing and living with reality in the start of the New Year. New Year is generally understood as starting of a new chapter of one’s life. People make resolution by taking stock of their lives and resolving to be better ones. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, is reported to have said that unexamined life is not worthy of living and it is almost a tradition with the sensible and reasonable people to take stock of their life and to resolve to be better people, at the start of the new year.
So, the poetess has decided to live with reality in the New Year. Reality is not always comfortable but pinching and disturbing. The use of the image “bony arms” points to this fact. But the poetess is resolute and will draw comfort fulfilling her resolution. The phrase ‘draining of long draughts’ is linked with drinking wine but the poetess intends to drink calmness and thinks it necessary for cleansing herself. It is quite natural and true that in loneliness and quiet one can examine one’s life honestly. It is a self-criticism. Life examined critically purifies one for better future life.
Critical Explanation:
It is a short and interesting poem written by Elizabeth Sewell. The arrival of New Year is usually celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. It is a tradition to make some promises in the light of which one wants to spend one’s New Year. Usually people pledge to become better human beings in the New Year. The poetess makes an extraordinary resolution at the beginning of the New Year. She says that in order to purify her soul, she will remain quiet. She will drink long sips of quietness.
It is a beautiful simile as if quietness is a medicine that can make her clean physically and spiritually from impurities. Quietness seems to purify her because when a person is quiet and is not taking active part in the problems of the world, he gets time to have an insight into his own soul. He can then see his own impurities and drawbacks and can get rid of them. The poetess also wants to do this. She will face the reality. She will not have any high opinion about herself in future. She will not lead a conceited life and have no superiority complex about herself.
From now on, she will speak the truth to herself. She will not misjudge her own personality. In order to fulfill this goal. She will remind herself about her own reality twice during a day. Her assessment about herself will be true and real. During the night also, she will not forget the reality. Nodoubt, it is a time when one forgets bitter realities of this world and is lost in the imaginary world of dreams.
But she pledges that she will not lose her contact with reality though it is hard like the bony arms yet she will prefer it because she has made her pledge and only the fulfillment of her promise will make her happy. It is very hard thing to face the reality and specially the reality about our own self. Our ego and our conceited self stop us from seeing our weakness. Without facing these realities, we are unable to improve ourselves. So the resolution to see the reality is the first step towards reformation.
New 2
“New Year Resolutions” By Elizabeth Sewell (Reference to the Context)
Reference:
These lines have been taken from the poem “New Year Resolutions”, written by Elizabeth Sewell.
Context:
This poem is about the new year resolutions and promises. Another year has lapsed. On the start of the new year, the poetess takes stock of herself very realistically. She tries to make this world a better place by making new pledges. Her untraditional resolution is to face and lie with reality.
Lines 1 – 3
Explanation:
In these lines the poetess describes her mental state and the way she would drink to purify her soul. She says that she will drink wine at night secretly. She will have long draughts during night and will purge herself from all kinds of evils. This will assist her in helping other people because her own mind and spirit will be free from all types of evils.
“Long draughts of Quiet” also suggests that she will keep quiet most of time. This will be the best means for the purification of her oul and it will help her in leading beneficial and successful life. She says; she will talk less and hear more and mould her life into betterment. Lines 4 – 6
In the given lines Elizabeth says, she will remember herself twice daily, in the evening and in the morning. She will take into consideration what her aim of creation is. She will try to understand the purpose of life in general. Perhaps she means that she should recognize herself, which will help her in recognizing God and leading life for benefit of others. Lines 7 – 9
These are concluding lines of the poem. Here, the poetess says she will accept reality. While, sleeping at night, she will consider the bitter reality of life. During the new year she will make some promises and pledges. She will sleep on thin, less-fleshy arms of reality. Accepting reality and facts is always a difficult thing, but she will accept it bravely. She will feel relieved and satisfied, when she comes to know that she has spent her life for the benefit of others. The image of bony arms is a hard reality. Even then she will get delight and feel comforted when she has fulfilled her promises and resolutions, she has made on the start of the new year.
My thoughts
Explanation
In these lines the poetess describes her mental state and the way she would drink to purify her soul. She says that she will drink wine at night secretly. She will have long draughts during night and will purge herself from all kinds of evils.Long draughts of Quiet” also suggests that she will keep quiet most of time. This will be the best means for the purification of her soul and it will help her in leading beneficial and successful life. She says; she will talk less and hear more and mould her life into betterment.
Explanation
In the given lines Elizabeth says, she will remember herself twice daily, in the evening and in the morning. She will take into consideration what her aim of creation is. She will try to understand the purpose of life in general. Perhaps she means that she should recognize herself, which will help her in recognizing God and leading life for benefit of others.
Explanation
These are concluding lines of the poem. Here, the poetess says she will accept reality. While, sleeping at night, she will consider the bitter reality of life. During the new year she will make some promises and pledges. She will sleep on thin, less-fleshy arms of reality. Accepting reality and facts is always a difficult thing, but she will accept it bravely. She will feel relieved and satisfied, when she comes to know that she has spent her life for the benefit of others. The image of bony arms is a hard reality. Even then she will get delight and feel comforted when she has fulfilled her promises and resolutions, she has made on the start of the new year
These lines have been taken from the poem “New Year Resolutions”, written byElizabeth Sewell.
Context:
This poem is about the new year resolutions and promises. Another year has lapsed. On the start of the new year, the poetess takes stock of herself very realistically. She tries to make this world a better place by making new pledges. Her untraditional resolution is to face and lie with reality.
Lines 1 – 3
Explanation:
In these lines the poetess describes her mental state and the way she would drink to purify her soul. She says that she will drink wine at night secretly. She will have long draughts during night and will purge herself from all kinds of evils. This will assist her in helping other people because her own mind and spirit will be free from all types ofevils. “Long draughts of Quiet” also suggests that she will keep quiet most of time. This will be the best means for the purification of her soul and it will help her in leading beneficial and successful life. She says; she will talk less and hear more and mould her life into betterment. Lines 4 – 6
In the given lines Elizabeth says, she will remember herself twice daily, in the eveningand in the morning. She will take into consideration what her aim of creation is. She will try to understand the purpose of life in general. Perhaps she means that she should recognize herself, which will help her in recognizing God and leading life for benefit of others. Lines 7 – 9
These are concluding lines of the poem. Here, the poetess says she will accept reality. While, sleeping at night, she will consider the bitter reality of life. During the new year she will make some promises and pledges. She will sleep on thin, less-fleshy arms of reality. Accepting reality and facts is always a difficult thing, but she will accept it bravely. She will feel relieved and satisfied, when she comes to know that she has spent her life for the benefit of others. The image of bony arms is a hard reality. Even then she will get delight and feel comforted when she has fulfilled her promises and resolutions, she has made on the start of the new year.

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