"She Cried That Night, but Not for Him to Hear" - Stanislaw Baranczak - the Paradox of Love and War

973 Words4 Pages
I would like to begin with an excerpt from a quote by Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Stanislaw Baranczak’s poem “She cried that night, but not for him to hear” emulates the emotional paradox of love and war, both in a relationship and within the self. The assessment of depression and sadness in our loved ones consists of a methodical and analytical approach in addressing their emotions, regularly resulting in the indifference and dissociation of one person to another. This lack of empathetic reasoning creates distance, especially between lovers, and leaves a couple in a state of physical closeness, but with an inability to comfort or understand those dearest to us. The male persona experiences an intentional ignorance towards the female, and although he loves her, he does not move to comfort her, instead convincing himself that it was not her that woke him. The half-waking state we are often left in when being roused is epitomised by the regular rhyming scheme of the poem. It follows an ABA pattern in triplets, and concludes with a quatrain of ABAA. This rhyming scheme gently lulls the responder into a dreamlike state, similar to the experience of the male persona in the poem. The responder is vaguely aware of the emotional state of the female persona, but cannot reach out to her in empathy. Use of third person in this association contributes to the isolation and indifference towards the lovers’ plight. Is it better to feign happiness for your lover, only to release all of your pent up emotion in bouts of concentrated sorrow while they sleep? Dialogue, such as, “She’s crying, not for you to hear.”, brings the responder slightly out of this dream, as with the male woken by his companion’s sobs. The use of second person in addressing directly the responder reminds them of the privacy associated with the

More about "She Cried That Night, but Not for Him to Hear" - Stanislaw Baranczak - the Paradox of Love and War

Open Document