Comment 2 of 2, added on December 21st, 2014 at 1:25 PM.
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Comment 1 of 2, added on September 30th, 2012 at 5:21 PM.
This poem has intrigued me, especially who is it addressed to. Something
from his youth he has buried, kept from the world, relegated to nothingness
in a positive sense. Is it some of his earlier work that he never
published? His first son did commit suicide and his second son died I
think. He has "sealed them in a subdued fate." There is the exploration
of negation in a nearly Buddhist sense, nothingness as a place that is
better than the limelight, the night being more comforting. Hope was his
bride but I guess over the years the attraction between Melville and hope
fizzled away with the failures of his life. Who or what is immolated, or
killed as a sacrifice or by fire ( dictionary)? His children, his literary
output, his ambition (Illusions Perdues), his hopes and dreams, or wanting
in a Buddhist sense, desire, ? Clearly Melville is doing the immolating
here, he admittedly alters their fate, like killing a child to protect them
from the world ( Beloved Toni Morrison). Better not to do than to do, an
ethos so different than today just do it.
ALEX from United States