Analysis of Offering by Hilary Tham

Topics: Love, Poetry, Stanza Pages: 7 (2792 words) Published: May 16, 2013
I came to you sunrise,
With silvery dew on sleeping lotus
Sparkling in my gay hands;
You put my flowers in the sun.
5 I danced to you at midday,
With bright raintree blooms
Flaming in my ardent arms;
You dropped my blossoms in the pond.
I crept to you at sunset,
10 With pale lilac orchids
Trembling on my uncertain lips;
You shredded my petals in the sand.
I strode to you at midnight,
With gravel hard and cold
15 Clenched in my bitter fists;
You offered me your hybrid orchids,
And crushed them in despair.

I have chosen the poem “Offering” by Hilary Tham from the anthologies “In-Sight-Malaysian Poem” as the poem that I would like to analyze. From reading the title, I have expected the poem to be about some offerings. The title is very short and it creates many questions in my mind. I am curious to know who is offering something to someone and for which reason. After reading the poem I know that the title ‘Offering’ gives a deeper meaning to this poem. I believe that Hilary Tham has managed to convey the issue on relationship with this poem. By reading this poem I now have a new perceptive on love and relationship. Explication of the Poem

This poem dramatizes the theme of unreturned love, particularly as this theme relates to the pessimistic sacrifices of the persona. From this poem, the persona tells about one of his/her past personal experiences. The flow of words from the first stanza until the last stanza creates an atmosphere of tense, desperation and passion of the persona, who is trying to win the heart of whom he/she loves dearly. The poem records the change of mood and offerings of the persona according to different parts of the day. It is also the recording of a passage from hope to delusion. The use of Simple Past underlines that the relation between the two persons is completely finished. The different parts of the day resemble the phases of a love story that the persona has faced. The different settings and flowers used in each stanzas reflect the persona’s determination despite the cold response from the person whom he/she is in love with. The persona’s gestures in each stanzas demonstrate his/her intense passion towards the other person. In the first stanza the poem highlights that the persona came at the sunrise. The sunrise suggests the start of the day, of the period. The persona offered the beloved person silvery dew on sleeping lotus. The sleeping lotus is a half-open flower that suggests the state of love that the persona has for the other person. It suggests the beginning of love that the persona had, just like a flower bud that not yet bloomed. The persona was very happy, and the flowers were sparkling in his/her hands. But, the action of the other person suggests that the love that the persona had, has been refused by the other person. The other person put them in the sun, so the flowers probably got dry and died. Here, we can see that the flower that was covered by water (dew) is finished by the fire (sun). This suggests the difference that exists between the persona and the other person. In the second stanza, the persona came at midday. The midday which is usually the most intense moment in the day suggests the most intense moment of the persona’s life. The persona came and danced for the beloved person. The persona bought the other person raintree blossoms. Now the persona has brought full-opened flowers and they were flaming in his/her ardent arms. These suggest that the persona’s love now is mature as it is already blooms. The problem when the love is mature is it will also bring a large hope. It will also leave a deep wound if the love is not accepted as the feeling now is fully developed. For the second time, the other person refuses to accept the persona’s love. The other person didn’t care about the flower and dropped them in the pond. In this stanza the poet again highlights the difference nature of the persona and the other person when the flower...
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