17 July 2018
How Edmund Waller uses Personification and Symbolism in “Song” to Express a Woman’s Beauty
Is not it ironic how one can tell a person they are beautiful without verbally speaking? Well there are plenty ways to do so without speaking. Admiration can be one of the most difficult things to portray to another individual. Many people are too shy to tell a person how they feel or they are afraid of being rejected by the person they are most interested in. Then again, people try other advances to approach an individual or get their attention because they are determined. Objects, color, and shapes are used to expressed admiration during this day and time. In the poem Song by Edmund Waller. The speaker is believed a male that admires a lady and believes she show her beauty for him and others to admire. He sends a rose to the lady he admires. Before sending it, he addresses the rose as if it were a person. The speaker commands the rose to tell a woman that she should not waste any time because she is young. He thinks she should not waste time and be with him. Since she is young, the speaker believes she should not hide in and be shy, but instead flaunt her beauty publicly. The speaker wants the lady to understand that he wishes to gaze her beauty. The speaker sends a rose to deliver his previous advancements to this woman. While using personification and rhyme, the speaker elaborates on why he instructs the rose to tell this lady things.
In the first stanza, the speaker commands the rose to go immediately. He instructs the rose to tell this beautiful lady that she should not waste her time and she knows that (line 1-3). He instructs the rose to do the talking for him because his previous physical advances at her did not pass. The speaker then tells the rose to tell the lady who he has a crush on to express her beauty. While using the rose as a messenger, the speaker continues to tell the rose that it should tell her that her beauty is being wasted if it is not shown to him. The speaker uses personification every time he tells the rose to tell the lady something. Roses are used to show sophisticated and romantic styles. The narrator then gives an opinion on why the woman should consider his offer. Since there are no interjections from the woman in the poem, she seems to not have any interested at all. She is reluctant to his attempts. The speaker seems to know small characteristics about the woman he is referring to because he tells the rose to tell her shuns to have her graces spied (line 7). The narrator thinks the woman should appreciated being desired. He says, “Suffer herself to be desired, and not blush so to be admired” (line 14-15). The speaker believes that being ashamed of beauty is almost as harsh as committing a crime. The speaker’s gain in sending the rose is to persuade the woman to take full advantage of her own beauty that she already has and to also be with him.
The speaker then relies on symbolism. The rose begins to represent the symbolism the speakers relies on, but still address it with a touch of his own. The rose is significant because giving a person lilies or poppies may portray totally different meanings or messages than a rose would. A rose is thought of to be gentle and romantic. The speaker is trying to take the rose’s usual meaning and personalize it to mean something else. The speaker personalizes the meaning of the rose that is meant for the lady he does so by using traditional symbolism. The speaker says that the rose would have “uncommended” and died if had been planted and bloomed in the desert (line 10). “Uncommended” means to not be showed any admiration. He then uses the example of the desert to encourage her to come out and be admired (line 14-15). The speaker begins to shut down the poem at the end. He then instructs the rose to die even though it did not bloom in the desert. Roses are not a symbol of death, which made the poem to be fairly harsh at the end. The speaker uses the rose’s death to portray to the woman that they only have a small amount of time (line 19). The speaker wants the dead rose to be seen as a reminder of the time left. He wants her to know that time waits for no one and she should take advantage before she dies like the rose did.
Even though the speaker’s continuous advancements at this beautiful woman seems to not work, he is still trying. The speaker is perceived as a strong and confident person. In the first stanza the rose is told to say sweet, charming things. Initially, the speaker makes the rose’s duties and destination lucid. Afterwhile, he compares the woman’s beauty to the rose’s (line 4). The speaker accuses the woman of wasting her time. In stanza two the speaker tells the rose to remind the woman that she is young and she should show her beauty. He believes that if the woman hides her beauty, her beauty should not continue. Comparing to the rose dying in the desert, it shall no longer bloom. If she does not show her beauty, she cannot be admired (line 9-10). In the third stanza, the speaker then tries to persuade the woman not to be shy. He believes that being showing her beauty will prove to everyone how beautiful she is. He believes that she should not hide from publicity. Telling the rose die is what will remind the woman that even her beauty is timed and that it can eventually fade away with age.