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I Cling to Hope - Poem & Explication

By riverhawk11 Feb 05, 2013 787 Words
I Cling to Hope-Patricia Barrett

I cling to Hope like the fallen autumn leaf
Beautifully stained with crimson wounds and jaundiced fear,
Caught by a silver thread of spider’s web crafted by
Earth’s own creature.

I cling to Hope like the puff of cloud crossing cowboy blue skies Transcending hawk and eagle,
Eager to embrace all on the azure path
Searching for self-same happiness.

I cling to Hope like the trusting child
Waiting for the one who will bring a blanket of love
To wrap around shoulders of melting steel and
Silken lace unraveling from the too-long journey.

I cling to Hope.

A Desire to Touch and
A Dare to Step
Becomes our waltz in syncopated time to Earth’s Universal Equinox An Urge to Breathe and
A Cry for Time
Becomes our dance in hand-held reverie because
All I can do is say,
“I cling to Hope.”

I cling to Hope like a symphony of bluegrass tunes
Gently ringing through canyon forests and American River Dreams, dew-filled with honey and Springtime’s morning promise.

Your eyes catch mine with un-chosen choice,
And all I can do is be Me, the
Fallen autumn leaf, the puff of cloud, and a trusting child singing The bluegrass tune, I Cling to Hope ~

Explication of I Cling to Hope - P. Barrett

I Cling to Hope by Patricia Barrett is a lyrical poem in which the first three quatrains begin with the 1st person narrator’s echo, “I cling to hope.” The speaker’s tone is wistful, perhaps yearningly optimistic, for the resolution of a committed relationship.

Each of the first three quatrains contains a simile. In the first quatrain, imagery connotes the painful disappointments that life offers; clinging to hope like a red and yellow autumn leaf is colored with the metaphor of bleeding, “crimson wounds”, and “jaundiced fear.” Caught by a thread “crafted by Earth’s own creature” alludes to the connectivity in all nature. The beauty in the fragile web has caught the autumn leaf which keeps it from dropping deeper, a sense of hope hangs on a slender thread.

In the second quatrain, the imagery of clinging to hope lifts from earthen images to those of the sky. Clouds, blue skies, hawk, and eagle inspire flight for hope to take wing. The personification of the puff of cloud embracing all is the speaker’s voice, magnified by the alliteration, “cloud crossing cowboy-blue skies” and “searching for self-same happiness” The third quatrain renders a poignant sadness. The image of an innocent trusting child waiting for one to care leaves a sense of the wounds of the past, rejection and abandonment. “Waiting for the one who will bring a blanket of love to wrap around shoulders of melting steel and silken lace unraveling from the too-long journey” pinpoints why the speaker needs to cling to hope. The oxymoron “melting steel”, and the metaphor, “silken lace unraveling” depicts the emptiness of relationships and life’s journey, although the narrator has not given up in the “too-long journey.”

Iambic meter dominates throughout the first three quatrains; “I cling to hope” in and of itself, iambic di-meter-a signature for two heartbeats joining together.
The pivotal verse rises after one lonely line of the title feature, “I cling to hope,” which also serves as a refrain.
In dominating iambic verse, the speaker reveals an occasion in which the desire to touch, dance, breathe, and “cry for more time” for togetherness. The speaker directs attention to someone clearly in mind: “A dare to step becomes our waltz”. With the stuttering image of “syncopated time’, the lyrical poem employs musical references. After several feet of a dominating iambic meter, the falling meter of our waltz “in syncopated time” vivifies the literal dance between the two and the escalated heart beat occurring with anticipated love. It also alludes to the essence that togetherness has not yet been solidifies.

In true lyric mood, the second –to- last verse is a quatrain crafted in the fashion of the first three. Clinging to hope is “like a symphony of bluegrass tunes”. The mood is song-like, light and lifting through the “canyon forests and American River,” scenes familiar in northern California life. Harmony between speaker and the acceptance that clinging to hope is more appealing than giving up in defeat.

The speaker’s purpose is folded in the final quatrain. An acceptance of self, a simple expression of truth, and a sincere finality of the lyric “I cling to hope” exhibits the theme of hope with a subtlety of faith that, in matters of the heart, all one CAN do, is cling to the hope that the future will yield love, belonging, and happiness.

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