sunlight on the garden’ by Louis Immanence In Sunlight In the Garden, the Louis Immanence uses a complex structure with overrated rhythm to convey the poems celebration of life with the underlying fact that life Is finite, death is inevitable, but we should live life to its full potential whilst we can until its pleasures end. In only four stanza’s Immanence explores a variety of different emotions. There is a nostalgic sentiment in terms of love lost, the more distant memory of a paradise and the awareness of its imminent demise.
Moreover towards he end of the poem the poet writes of regrets and finally acceptance, ‘and grateful too for sunlight on the garden’. It Is a poem which celebrates the Joys of living, both in bold actions and In quiet moments, but It does so In the somber knowledge that life is finite and all joys must have an end. In the first stanza Immanence states that the ‘sunlight in the garden hardens and grows cold’. Immediately he enters into his theme of the finality of death. The sunlight, whose image depicts a sense of warmth and simplistic beauty ‘grows cold’.
Life will end and we will all ‘grow cold’ eventually but this should be accepted and the futile attempt to, ‘cage the minute’ while not alter our fate. The alliteration here teamed with the harsh sounds of the ‘c’ emphasizes how we are not able to prevent it and the poet is conscience of the significance of time as he depicts its ‘nets of gold’. Each minute is extremely valuable and the reference to ‘nets’ suggests that life is transient and we cannot catch it and hold onto it.
The lack of punctuation at the end of the third line underlines this inability to stop time with the last line giving a impression of foreboding. The use of ‘beg’ Is emotive as it creates an Image of futility and stresses the Inevitability of death. The dovetailing of lines together produces a sense of echoing accentuating the lingering, waning quality of the enjoyment of life which the poem explores. The juxtaposed rhymes may seem invasive and Jangling at first, but through further readings it brings out a dying fall in those rhymes which suits the mood of the poem exactly.
The inconsistency mirrors that of life itself. The rhyme scheme is consistent in each of the four verses In an ABACA format. The poet furthers this by including a partial serpentine rhyme In the first and the third lines of each stanza. The ‘garden’ of the first line rhymes with hardens’ which follows on the next. Each time the serpentine rhyme is used the end of the first line is followed by a strong verb such as ‘defying’. The third line which on first viewing seems to lack a rhyme, on closer reading it visible that there is a semi-rhyme with the following words, minute’ with Within its’.
There is inevitability about the way the rhyming words follow over the enjambment which follows the same unavoidable nature of war, love and death. Immanence does not use a regular metrical pattern except In the first and fifth lines of the poem. This could create an awkward and unnatural feel to the poem but in fact it does the opposite and the beauty in the poem overcomes the confusion of the poetic form and this can be applied to the meaning of the poem also. The poem is fatalistic in its pre-emptying of war in Europe. The sense of foreboding which can be seen wrought Is highlighted in the third verse.
The assonance of ‘every evil iron / siren’ slows down the reading of the line and the semi-rhyme In ‘Iron’ and ‘siren’ communicates ten enormity AT ten escutcheon to come. When spoken ten ‘Iron’ Ana ‘siren’ sounds mirror those of a siren so you can almost hear it as you read. Joined with the sounds of bells, repetition of ‘dying and caesura in the last line, the cacophony of sound does seem to echo the those sounds of war and devastation. This is made emphatic by the reference to Anthony and Cleopatra in the line, We are wing, Egypt dying, which intensifies the notion of something terrible being foreseen with a double premonition.
In addition to this ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ is seen as a great love story. The two main characters fall in and out of love and it could be that Immanence is likening himself to this character and his loved one is cause of his being ‘hardened in heart anew. This quote, however, would only be picked up by the more educated reader suggesting Immanence was either wanting to communicate to a particular audience or he was trying to confuse the reader with the seemingly nonsensical line to add to the confusion of the poem and irregularity.
Either way it makes the reader think. The last stanza of the poem with its repetition of the first in words such as ‘pardon’, ‘harden(De)’ and ‘sunlight on the garden’ adds a final resonance to it, with Immanence full of self-reproach and acceptance lingering finally on that paradise somewhat lost now of ‘sunlight on the garden’. This verse seems more nostalgic. He is appreciative whoever he went through thunder and rain’ with which suggests maybe he is pondering on a lost love that he once had.
He is ‘grateful’ or life and its experiences however negative they might have been and is also grateful of the Joys that he knows will fade away to nothing in the end. Having read the poem several times the reader begins to realism that although on the surface the tone is ominous and somewhat pessimistic throughout, there is also a strong sense of hope and tolerance of the passage of time and its detrimental nature. Immanence uses the inconsistency of his meter and rhythm to his advantage and the poem is a love poem as much as it is a representation of the transient nature of time.