Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Slim Cunning Hands - Walter de le Mare

Slim cunning hands at rest, and cozening eyes-
Under this stone one loved too wildly lies;
How false she was, no granite could declare;
Nor all earth's flowers, how fair.

This is a beautiful testament to how very strange people can be.  A buried lover, false, unfaithful, characterized by "slim cunning hands" is still too wildly loved to be described.  No amount of flowers could ever speak to her fairness and beauty, which is a reflection of how well loved she was by the narrator.  Her virtues and shortcomings are much too great for earthly things (granite, representing the coldness of her betrayals and the finality of her death, flowers representing the joy of her presence, and the promise of renewed life) to speak for.

It's somehow reassuring to know that for all of someone's faults, awful as they can be, that they can still be loved beyond measure.  We're all strange that way, I suppose.  If we weren't, we wouldn't write poems like this.  I'm glad that we do, though, because it allows us to all remember those who have passed out of our lives, whether by death or circumstance, who were deeply flawed and deeply loved.  Then we must consider that we are all on that end of the equation for someone.  Each and every one of us has left someone else's life, remembered equally as a bringer of sorrow and a bringer of joy.  The memory itself, in its totality, deserves celebration, as this poem reminds us.


  1. It's a very beautiful poem since it has many ambiguous words. Like, lies, cozeing, cunning, and fair. Actually all of these words have two or more different meanings, which makes this poem more interesting

  2. É um poema muito bonito porque tem muitas palavras ambíguas. Como, mentiras, cozeing, astúcia, e justo. Na verdade, todas essas palavras têm dois ou mais significados diferentes, o que torna este poema mais interessante

  3. great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!