‘Another Weeping Woman’ is a poem by the American poet Wallace Stevens, who was known for making some of the most thought-provoking poems based around very relatable emotions and events.
In ‘Another Weeping Woman,’ Stevens talks about the idea of grief, pain, and sadness due to the loss of someone or something. He talks about the detrimental effects of being lost in this pain.
The poem is written in very simple language but it does use some complex metaphors that can confuse a lot of people.
Let’s take a look at the poem first and then at the analysis and meaning of the poem.
Another Weeping Woman by Wallace Stevens
Pour the unhappiness out From your too bitter heart, Which grieving will not sweeten. Poison grows in this dark. It is in the water of tears Its black blooms rise. The magnificent cause of being- The imagination, the one reality In this imagined world- Leaves you With him for whom no phantasy moves, And you are pierced by a death.
Simplification of the Poem
Crying will not make your bitter heart sweet
But pouring the unhappiness out will
Sadness will kill you from the inside
And it grows the more you cry
The darkness grows inside more and more
The will to live
The power to imagine
The only thing that makes you live in this world
Leaves you once you let sadness take over
Nothing can make you feel life again
Until you die.
Meaning and Analysis of the Poem
Coming to the meaning of the poem, there is nothing hidden or complicated in the meaning of it. The poem is about the nature of pain, and how it can take over.
The four stanzas of the poem are about the different aspects of grief and pain. The poem shows why people tend to stay with grief and then before they realize it, they are completely lost in it.
Stanza 1: Why Grief Sticks
Pour the unhappiness out
From your too bitter heart,
Which grieving will not sweeten.
The first stanza tells us why we tend to be sad. The unhappiness in our hearts tends to make us bitter.
We think that perhaps grieving will reduce the bitterness, and make the heart sweeter again. Grief can change a person completely, and perhaps it is the only thing they hope can change them back.
Grieving is just thinking about the pain, swimming in it, and living with it. It will never sweeten your heart.
Pouring the unhappiness out can only help you in getting rid of it. Get away from pain, do not drown in it.
Stanza 2: The Nature of Grief
Poison grows in this dark.
It is in the water of tears
Its black blooms rise.
The second stanza talks about the nature of grief; what it is and how it grows. When a person is morose, there is darkness in his/her mind.
This ‘darkness’ does not mean literal darkness. It means that the person shuts himself or herself off from everything joyful and warm. They prefer to live alone, in their sadness.
The water from the tears grows the black plant of grief and makes it take more of the person. It grows and grows and takes over the mind of the person.
Stanza 3 and 4: The Effects of Grief
We have combined the final two stanzas because they make sense only when read together. These stanzas tell us about the effect of being lost in grief.
The magnificent cause of being-
The imagination, the one reality
In this imagined world-
With him for whom no phantasy moves,
And you are pierced by a death.
The third stanza talks about our most important and useful mental faculty. Grief and sadness when held for too long can affect imagination. Imagination is what lets us see the abstract.
Imagination is the only reality that is in this imagined world. This is a very complex and metaphysical statement, but quite true at the same time. What is a human without the power to imagine?
The last stanza says that grief takes the power to imagine; it takes away the only thing that makes us human. Then the person just survives until one day death takes the person away.
The Theme and Essence of the Poem
The theme of the poem is loss, grief, sadness, and the consequences of not being able to move on and start living your life again. The poet talks about the dangers of being lost in grief.
It takes a great deal of effort to get out from the dark clutches of grief and start living again. Many people fail to do so and just cry, shutting themselves off from everyone.
This cutting off leads to more grief in the heart, more bitterness, and more pain. Ultimately, all the person is left with is this bitterness, losing their ability to imagine.
Once you lose the power of something that only humans can do, you become just a living creature, with no mental faculties. In the end, death comes and takes them away.
The poem presents a very concerning yet true image of grief. How grief just takes over and makes people completely change. Letting it out is the best way to avoid it from growing. And the best way of living.
Read more: Love and Friendship by Emily Bronte: Meaning