Away Melancholy by Stevie Smith

Away Melancholy by Stevie Smith

“Away Melancholy” by Stevie Smith is a poignant and reflective poem that explores the theme of sadness and the human condition. In this essay, we will analyze the poem’s themes, style, and structure to understand its meaning and significance.

The poem opens with the lines, “Away, melancholy, / Away with it, let it go. / Are not the trees green, / The earth as green?” These lines suggest that the speaker is trying to overcome a feeling of sadness or melancholy. The use of the word “away” suggests a sense of urgency or desperation, and the repetition of the phrase “let it go” reinforces this.

The second stanza describes the beauty of nature and the world around us. The lines, “Does not the blue sky meet / The green earth with its beauty? / And do not the wind and sun / Shine on all alike?” convey a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world. The use of the word “beauty” is particularly effective, as it suggests that even in the midst of sadness, there is still something worth celebrating and cherishing.

The third stanza shifts the focus to the human condition. The lines, “Let us not think of ourselves / But of the earth that gave us birth,” suggest that the speaker is trying to transcend their own individual concerns and focus on something larger than themselves. The use of the word “birth” reinforces the idea that we are all connected to the earth in some fundamental way.

The fourth stanza is a meditation on the nature of sadness and suffering. The lines, “Let us not remember with sadness / The things that we once knew. / Let the memories depart, / They are not for me, they are not for you,” suggest that the speaker is trying to let go of their own personal pain and suffering. The repetition of the phrase “let us not” reinforces the idea that the speaker is actively trying to overcome their sadness and move on.

The fifth and final stanza is a plea for hope and renewal. The lines, “Let us go out, renew our lives, / Walking with the wind and sun. / Let us be as children once again, / Devoid of sorrow, and think of heaven,” suggests that the speaker is looking for a way to start anew and find hope in the world. The final line, “And then, perhaps, we shall know,” leaves the poem open-ended, suggesting that there is still more to be discovered and explored.

The style of the poem is marked by its simplicity and clarity. Smith’s use of language is precise and measured, and her images are vivid and evocative. The poem is written in a regular rhyme scheme, with each stanza consisting of four lines. This creates a sense of order and balance that reinforces the poem’s themes of hope, renewal, and transcendence.

In conclusion, “Away Melancholy” is a beautiful and moving poem that explores the theme of sadness and the human condition. Through its vivid imagery and contemplative language, the poem conveys the speaker’s sense of longing for renewal and hope. Smith’s simple yet powerful style serves to underscore the poem’s emotional intensity, and its themes of renewal, hope, and transcendence resonate with readers to this day. ”