Below are my thoughts and reflections regarding the theme of
“The Sick Rose” by William Blake and “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns.
The Sick Rose By William Blake
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
A Red Red Rose by Robert Burns
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.
In poetry the theme is the controlling idea of the whole poetry. The themes reveal the message or the meaning of the whole poetry. From my reflection both of the poems reveal the theme through the title. However the theme of the poems differs in its meaning.
The theme of the poem “The Sick Rose” by William Blake is about of a rose that has reached the end of its lifespan in the advent of the creeping winter. A rose usually symbolizes love, beauty and romance, but in this poem rose is sick reflects the damaged, hurt and destruction. The rose which is personified as an ailing woman was damaged by the worm which is personified as the man who has caused the harm to her. It is a poem that reveals the negative attitude of a man towards a woman whom he destroys to satisfy his lust. Where else in the poem “ A red,red Rose” by Robert Burns the theme is about a man who is deeply in love with his lover. The word red is repeated twice stress the great passion he has for his lover. It is a romantic love poem which has a positive attitude of a man towards a woman whom he loves by showing his great passion of love which is growing deeper and deeper each day.
Another comparison of the theme is regarding the dignity. In the “Sick Rose” the man destroyed the dignity of the woman. He ruin the life of a woman and caused her to be become ill. Where else in the “A Red,Red Rose” the man preserves the dignity of a woman whom he is in love with and even praised her beauty.
Besides that, another comparison of the theme is regarding responsibility. In the “Sick Rose” the man is an irresponsible person who does not care about woman. His intention is to ruin the life of the person he loves the wrong way, where else in “A Red, Red Rose” the man’s action reveal his steadfastness of being a responsible person. Even in the last stanza of the poem he said that he will return with a heart of love though he is ten thousand miles away from her.
Furthermore the theme of love in the “Sick Rose” is a secret love of a man towards a woman when he actually used a force and unhealthy way to get his love from the woman. His drastic action and impatient behavior has eventually caused the damaged in the woman whom he loved secretly. Thus it reveals the darker side of human nature. In “A Red, Red Rose” the man patiently and gradually release his love towards his lover. He even reveals his passion in a more decent way and he did not use any force. Burns used two similes to compare the love, the first is the man’s love is like a red,red rose and the second is his love is like the melodie. Both simile reflects a delicate form a love between a man and a woman. Hence, it reveals the brighter side of human nature.
Blake and Burns' choice of words made the language of poetry in those poems alive and arouse the interest of the readers to find the hidden message behind it. The use of symbolic and figurative language written by the writers have made both the poems very interesting and appealing to the readers’ senses.
In “The Sick Rose”, the poem ends with a depressive tone where the beautiful rose was blemished by the evil lust of a man but in “A Red, Red Rose”, the depth of the persona’s love prolong even when he has to say farewell: “And fare thee weel”, but he promises to return. Burns ends the poem in a tender , hopeful and inspiring note . Thus, after comparing the theme of both the poems it is obvious that both poems reflect the two contrary states of a human soul as “The Sick Rose” is a blemishing rose while the “A Red, Red Rose” is a blessings rose.