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My True Love Hath My Heart
After reading this poem for this chapter, I was wondering how others interpreted the metaphor and/or theme. I figured it had more to do with an exchange between two lovers, as they are both sharing their hearts with one another. The speaker uses words like “exchange” and “bargain” to insinuate a sort of commercial tone. Using commerce as a metaphor to emphasize their shared hearts and compacted relationship. What do you guys think?
This poem also does not illustrate an unrequited love in my eyes. The speaker clearly exemplifies how this love is shared and interchangeable, whereas an unrequited love would insinuate something more one-sided than such. This is what leads me to believe the them and metaphor leads me more towards commerce and the “trade” the two lovers are making by sharing their hearts with one another.
Another thing I found to be interesting was the recurring “wounded hearts”. This is something that confused me, as I didn’t understand how the speaker introduced this imagery. She says “his heart his wound received from my sight” and maybe that could mean his heart felt an instant connection that would only end in a wound if they were to separate? I’m not sure, I would love to hear other views on the repetition of the wounded hearts ideal.
@xmysterio I slightly disagree. I agree on the aspect of unrequited love not being the heart of this poem because, you are right, that would imply something much more one sided than what we see in the poem. But, I do not think that the speakers main goal was to emphasize how love is a bargain/ commerce. I only say this because those terms sound much more mechanical than the feelings it seemed the speaker was trying to give the readers about love. Not to mention, there was basically one line where the speaker mentioned this sort of outlook on love. We all know that every single detail is important, so maybe this still has meaning, it just isn't the meaning. perhaps the speaker was trying to represent that true love is only true when reciprocated? and that is how that metaphor fits? I'm not sure! I am interested to hear your thoughts
@xmysterio On the wounded hearts, I am a little confused as well. When I first read the poem, I thought it meant that these two lovers' hearts were so interconnected that if one was hurt the other was also hurt. But, I know one of the quiz questions on this piece mentioned Cupid's arrow, which I think actually could be a valid point when considering love at first sight, which makes slightly more sense than my original thought. Also, there is your point that their love can only end in heartbreak with separation, or a wounded heart. There are many different takes possible hear, so I really am interested in going deeper.
I thought this poem was interesting because I think the meaning could be interpreted differently depending on the reader. For example, the speaker discusses how their hearts are basically intertwined with one another. I believe the speaker is implying the magnitude of the lovers affect on them. Furthermore, I didn't understand exactly what it meant when the speaker said "for once it was his own". I also thought the format was intriguing in regards to the first and last line being the same. I think that would've been cool if my triad group somehow worked that into our sonnet.
@gardella I think that the following quote
"for once it was his own"
is the author trying to emphasize the idea that the hearts were exchanged between the two lovers in the poem. This is just repeating the idea in the poem, that love requires an exchange between two people. I also thought that the poem could be easily interpreted a lot of different ways. The line "His heart his wound received from my sight" was especially confusing to me, as especially with the idea of exchanging hearts, is the "his heart" in the line referring to the heart before or after they were metaphorically exchanged, and if so how would that change the interpretation of the poem?
I also found the whole commerce idea to be a bit strange... However I do think that this poem is clearly about to lovers rather than unrequited love. I also struggle with understanding poems, but I feel this one was a bit more clear than the poems for previous chapters. As far as the wounded hearts go, I'd like to think maybe both individuals came into this relationship with said wounded hearts, and are healing and growing together?
@savhoisington Your take on the wounded hearts aspect is very eye-opening. I agree that this recurring theme most likely refers to the inevitable heartbreak love comes to, whether it be by death or separation. There is no escape from a wounded heart, and I think that may be what the speaker was insinuating. Since they have already fallen in love, their hearts are doomed to be wounded. Cupid’s arrow was maybe brought up to illustrate a symbol of what wounded their hearts.
@savhoisington I understand what you’re saying. I was taking it very literal, figuring that the commercial references ultimately lead to a metaphor that was supposed to analogize the speaker’s version of love. You are right that the speaker meant it to be more mechanical, and that it isn’t the ultimate meaning but instead what it may mean.
I think that idea of commerce was in my head as it was for a lot of people who were reading the poem. I think that the idea which they were trying to portray by the author was that love is about sharing of hearts you can be in a relationship unless you go and give it part of yourself and the other person gives a part of themselves I think that it really is quiet beautiful imagery that is used in the poem and I really think that this poem was one of the more beautiful ones which we have read all year
@savhoisington I think this is a very interesting thought, and I can see how it is shown in the poem! I think lines like "His heart in me keeps me and him in one" show how they are bonded through their exchange of their hearts. And we know this exchange goes both ways because it says "By just exchange one for the other given". So the exchange includes both hearts, and is only fair (or just) if they both give their heart to the other. Then the speaker says "He loves my heart, for once it was his own;/ I cherish his because in me it bides." So to me this is saying that their feelings of love, joy, and yes, hurt, come because they share their hearts. They wouldn't have these feelings if it was a one-way transaction, because this kind of exchange requires that it goes both ways.
@leinweber I think the line @gardella quoted is there to do a little bit more than just emphasize that they are exchanging hearts. I think it also shows the care he has for the speaker's heart because it once belonged to him. People usually care a lot more for things that belong to them (especially things as important as a heart) more than they care for things that belong to others. So I think that by highlighting the fact that it belonged to him shows how much care he has for the speaker because he isn't just caring for the speaker, he is caring for his own heart! As for the line "His heart his wound received from my sight" confused me a bit as well. It seems to me that "his heart" is the one after the exchange. It seems that he feels hurt by even seeing his love (the speaker) for whatever reason. It may be what @xmysterio and @savhoisington were saying about how love is doomed to end in heartbreak and tragedy. So even though he loves the speaker and the speaker loves him, they feel pain by each other because that is the inevitable nature of love.
Okay so, admittedly, this poem confused the hell out of me. However, I was determined to understand what it was trying to say. So after reading it over and over (and falling down a somewhat unpleasant Shakespearean-style writing debate rabbit hole on Redditt), I can confidently say that this poem is not about unrequited love or heartbreak (which was my initial thought).
This poem is about surrendering yourself totally and completely to another person through the act or idea of love.
The speaker states that she and her lover have pledged their hearts to each other because he has been struck by one of Cupid's arrows and she basically falls for him because she sees that he is wounded with love for her (In other words, she loves that he loves her). To them, it’s the best exchange or ‘bargain’ that could have been contrived. By exchanging their hearts with each other and pledging themselves to the other, they guide each other and make them two hearts in one. They've given themselves up completely.
They've surrendered themselves because they have a passion and love for each other, and love is an act of surrender to another person. Essentially, they're saying, "I give myself to you completely. Take all of me, whatever the cost."
Umm.. that's quite crazy, no? (please momentarily nod to Romeo & Juliet) Because losing and surrendering yourself to another person is allowing that passion and intensity to spiral out of control, which isn't sensible at all. They're taking a huge risk by allowing themselves to become lost in and devoured by the other when they say that they've become one.
What I can't tell is whether or not that's a good thing.
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