Although times have changed and centuries have passed by, some parts of life will always remain the same. The relationship between a man and a woman is complicated . Count Baldasarre Castiglione described the difficulties of these in his book, The Courtier, where he describes the perfect courtier. The book, at some point, describes the benefits of Platonic relationships over sensual ones. One recurring theme that sensual relationships often bear is pain. During the Sixteenth Century, Sir Thomas Wyatt wrote love songs. One in particular "Farewell, Love," is about loss and pain. The liberal ways of the nineteen hundreds has brought to light different types of "acceptable" relationships and practices, but still we cannot avoid the pain of love. Irving Kahal wrote "I'll Be Seeing You," which shows love lost in a modern love song.
Wyatt's poem can be read in two different ways. Either the author means what he says and really feels "Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more," or it is just a hurt man trying to rationalize what he has no control over. The former is most likely, but seems too rational. "And 'scape forth since liberty is lever," shows that he escaped from her grasp. Wyatt here is portraying the author as a victim who has been freed. Freed of what though? That is the issue.
The title "Farewell, Love" may sound as if it is directed at a specific person. However, it has a double meaning. I believe there is no single "Love" he is referring to, but love in general. Love is the subject which the author wants to bid adieu to. This double meaning shows the extent of the pain that the author is experiencing. Not only has he been hurt by a lover, but so bad that he will never love again.
Kahal's song "I'll Be Seeing You," from the start is similar to Wyatt's. I'll be seeing you is a colloquial euphemism for good-bye; as the words "so long". When the song continues, however, we are informed that this is a difficult parting for one party involved. He'll be seeing her "In all the old familiar places," is saying that he will never forget this person. So "I'll be seeing you," is saying good-bye, but it also is saying that he really does not want this parting. "But when the morning chimes ring sweet again," as soon as the author recovers from this loss and he no longer feels the pain; "I'll be seeing you," he will still never forget the love he had.
"Senec and Plato call me from thy lore," it is ironic that to validate his claim, Wyatt brings in the authority of Plato. If the author would have stuck to a Platonic relationship, he would never have fallen victim to love's grasp. Now he listens to the call of the philosopher, when it suits him. "Cathedral bells were tolling," from Kahal's song is his way of confirming the love that was lost. A cathedral has a powerful meaning, like marriage. The cathedral is the authority figure here.
Authority has been brought in to substantiate claims made by the two authors. For Wyatt, it is because he is unsure of himself and has to call in an expert to tell him, he is doing right. Kahal too brings in the Cathedral to inform the readers that the love was real; in case we did not believe it.
Visions of happiness are discussed for effect. If the reader knows how happy the subjects were, he can sympathize more with the loss of that. A picture must be painted to spell it out. "In blind error when I did persever," is the only line in Wyatt's song that states happiness. Due to the nature of the song it could not contain any more visions of happiness. It is enough though, to realize that he knew he was happy (persever), regardless of what Senec and Plato say. The happiness was an error. If he was happy at the time, where did he err? Kahal went to the limit and rubbed our noses in it, "In that small cafe. The park across the way. The children's carousel. The Chestnut tree, the wishing well." Every illusion of warmth and happiness was written....
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