An Analysis of "The Heart of Woman" by W.B. Yeats

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Adrienne Nicole S. Bartolome                                                                      December 10, 2012

Literature 14                                                                                        Section R50

An Analysis of “The Heart of the Woman” by W.B. Yeats

O what to me the little room / That was brimmed up with prayer and rest; / He bade me out into the gloom, / And my breast lies upon his breast.

        The line “O what to me the little room” could possibly allude to the woman’s heart and how it accepts love inwardly in order to fill the spaces of her “room.” Similar to how a room is filled, one can interpret that love can also abstractly fill the “little room.” Also, the line “That was brimmed up with prayer and rest” could express her passiveness when receiving love, similar to how prayers and rest are passive. In prayer, one expects a deity to impart everything without relying on any work while rest excludes a person from exerting any effort. So it can be inferred that in the first two lines of the poem, the woman is still naïve about the experiences of love and lacks the sense of maturity for her to understand what love is. The third line “He bade me out into the gloom,” in a sense can mean that there is an attempt to accomplish something. Literally bid means to make a proposal and in the context of the poem, “bade a person out into the gloom” can mean that there is an effort to complete a certain action. The action is then understood in the fourth line. Line 4 shows the physicality of the relationship. By depicting one of the most intimate parts of the human body, line 4 is able to show how the woman’s immature love also depends on physical aspects. So, not only does the woman play the receiver role but she also expects love to be physical.

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        The passive voices of line 2 shows how the woman, in her immature stages, understands love as something that she does not need to work for. Instead, it is the person on the other end of the line that does the work. Also, “me” in line 3 being the object and receiver shows how the woman expects the love and does not find the need to reciprocate love first.

O what to me my mother’s care, / The house where I was safe and warm; / The shadowy blossom of my hair / Will hide us from the bitter storm.


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