Q: Discuss how the poet develops the idea throughout the poem and makes the poem interesting for the reader?
The pain of aging, of slowly feeling the fire and passion flickering out is portrayed in “Night Sweat” by Robert Lowell. Simply put it is of a man with an illness and his disorganised thought and feelings but deeper, there is his fear and his agony as he feels his youth and its hopes and dreams burn away and how he cannot meet the standards expected of him to write. But also there is his joy as in his wife he finds new inspiration and hope.
The beginning of the poem plays some significance in developing the idea as it gives an insight of what the state of mind the poet is in. In his room there are said to be “plain things, my stalled equipment, the old broom” all three containing words: “plain…stalled…old,” all giving connotations of lack of vigour and passion, which may be reflecting upon what the poet feel about what had happened to his present life. But it seems sure that it has not always been like this. He is “living in a tidied room” suggests that his life is orderly, without the great disorganised tumults of thoughts or ideas, but now that colour, that passion and vigour had “wilted white.”