Since U Went Away

Topics: Meaning of life, Poetry, Stanza Pages: 3 (1170 words) Published: October 8, 2012
An Explication of James Weldon Johnson's Poem, Since You Went Away The poem, Since You Went Away (Sence You Went Away), depicts James Weldon Johnson as one who reckoned with the fact that the one person (or object) that someone loves most can make everything seem so beautiful when they are around and so out of order when they are gone. All through the poem, James Weldon Johnson paints images that would, in normal occasions, be used to express an air of contentment in someone's life. However, he goes on to turn the tables around by giving all these images some faults; for example, there are stars but they no longer shine as bright as they used to, the sun is present but it has lost its light, the sky is blue but part of it is dark (Johnson 1). He gives readers the impression that he had it all in life; but, the loss of a special person or object seemed to fault all that he had. This paper seeks to examine this particular poem so as to understand it better after this brief insight into the general picture that is portrayed.

To begin with, let us examine the title of this poem, Since You Went Away. On hearing it, one quickly gets the impression that the author could be talking about his loss of someone or something that was very dear to him. The phrase "to go away", could, however, be used in different contexts to communicate a variety of meanings. From the Macmillan Dictionary, the phrase go away could be used to mean "to move or travel away from a person or place", or "to leave your home for a period of time, especially for a holiday" or " to stop existing or being noticeable" ["Go away"]. So, it would mean that the dear person who has gone away from the author could have moved to a different place for a while or had stopped existing (meaning, the person could be deceased). Therefore, this is a sentimental poem where one longs for the person or the object that they loved so dearly.

Taking a stanza by stanza approach to see...
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