Porphyria's Lover

Poster¡G Valerie Chen at 15:7:18 3/2/98 from c549-9.svdcc.fju.edu.tw

The poem was about a mad man (the speaker
himself) who killed his lover, Porphyria. I think
the speaker was a secret lover of Porphyria.
Maybe she was a married woman or maybe she
belonged to a rank much higher than the speaker
that made their love inappropriate and secret:
(Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor,/ To set
its struggling passion free/ From pride, and
vainer ties dissever,/ And give herself to me
forever.). Therefore, the speaker seemed to be
very sad and was waiting for his lover to come.
We know that the speaker loved Porphyria very much
because before she came to him, everything was
cold and dark. But when Porphyria arrived she
lighted up the grate bringing him warm and
brightness. However, it was this very love that
drove him insane. The speaker knew that Porphyria
did not belong to him. She would leave him at any
time. Then surprisely he found out that she
really loved him. She was only his, at least at
that moment when she was with him. This new
discovery excited him, so he decided to keep
'that' Porphyria, 'perfectly pure and good''. As
a result, he strangled her.
Even though the speaker had killed his
lover, his tone was very calm while narrating the
whole event. Actually, he didn't think he killed
her because, in his opinion, Porphyria was still
alive. All what he had done was to help her our
of all her scruples and worries. I think the
speaker believed that Porphyria would even wish
him to do so: (The smiling rosy little head,/ So
glad it has its utmost will,/ That all it scorned
at once is fled,/ And I, its love, am gained
When Porphyria was alive, it seemed to be her
who dominated and controlled everything. She was
always the one who took the actions: (She sat down
by my side/ She put my arm about her waist/ And,
stooping, made my cheek lie there). Maybe from
here, we could say that she was somehow superior
than the speaker: (Porphyria's love: she guessed
not how/ Her darling one wish would be heard).
But then, after he killed her, the situation
changed. Now he had the control just like what a
man should have on his woman. He was not petty
anymore. And he was no longer the passive one who
always waited for the lover to come. Instead, he
was now the supporter: (I warily opened her lids/
¡Kher cheek once more/ Blushed bright beneath my
burning kiss:/ I propped her head up as before,
Only, this time my shoulder bore/ Her head, which
droops upon it still).
This poem reminded me to 'A Rose For Emily'.
Both Emily and the speaker of the poem
killed their lovers in order to keep the best of
them. Besides, both pretended that their lovers
were still alive. Perhaps in Emily and the
speaker's opinion, death was the only way to reach
an eternal love.

Note:Ray,please don't send your comments to my
e-mail box for something goes wrong and I can't
enter it. Thanks.


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