Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Analysis of "Last Night As I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Last Night As I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado
Originally read: December 14, 2012
More information about the Poet: Antonio Machado

On my notes, I note a lot of places where I see cliches: in the first stanza, the discussion of water as a symbol for new life, cleansing, healing etc, and in the third stanza, the sun as being a life comforting force.  These images are not only cliche but a little bit sentimental with "brought tears to my eyes."

Yet in the last stanza I note this about these lines:

     Last night as I slept,
     I dreamt--marvelous error!--
     that it was God I had
     here inside my heart.

"I feel this is subverted; however, it can be taken literally -- so it's up to the writer reader to figure out how to figure out how to interpret the text."

I like how I crossed out writer in my own notes.  I don't know anything about Antonio Machado or his religious leanings.  However, I do feel a struggle in this poem after reading the last stanza again and again.

The anaphora in this poem is kind of a dual edged sword.  Lines repeat so the lines can be remembered; however, the poem doesn't state why the reader or writer is remembering them.  In my mind there's a subversion because of the odd connotation with "marvelous error" -- something great, but it's a mistake.

I wonder that, in this poem, does the cliche images turn into something more.  In the first stanza there's the line: "Oh water, are you coming to me, / water of a new life / that I have never drunk?"  Which can be seen as anticipation or lament for something not attained -- maybe both.

And in the third stanza, "and sun because it gave light / and brought tears to my eyes."  I'm not sure what the tears are for after reading the last stanza, a new hope, or a blind sort want.  The strength of this poem is that there's assumed emotion with action (crying for happiness, anticipation for new life), but even after reading this poem a couple more times, I see this poem as a subversion to the overly zealous -- and I'm pretty sure I'm wrong with my analysis.

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