The first stanza begins with the word ‘Goodbye’ used for parting. This word ends the first stanza and begins the second. The lovers wish each other goodbye and their intertwined (laced) fingers loosen symbolising a gradual break in their relationship. The sense of touch is evoked in this stanza. The warmth of their relationship symbolised by their hand clasp, slowly breaks down and finally becomes cold and distant like the stiff, cold (frosted) flowers of a garden in November. Their separation is felt sharply and piercingly like bullets. For them even darkness, that unites without distinguishing, feels separate and strange.
The second stanza states that their relationship has broken down fully. This is conveyed by the words “There is no touch now” and by comparing their relationship to a wave that has now broken down in the lonely sea of the world. Though there is a possibility of words still to be spoken or for communication, the separation is too great a gulf for this to happen. It is so great that it swiftly out measures time (time makes us gradually forget) and engulfs one’s identity too.
The third stanza pictures the state of separation. It is like the dreamer startled from her sleep, but the vivid image of the dream is lost in the process of waking. It is a state of vagueness about a vivid moment of life. All the senses like taste and sight feel numb. Even feelings have turned cold as denoted by the words ‘clinic heart’ (dead heart). So there is no question of the heart breaking.
The final stanza asks questions about the separation like whether it easy and if there is nothing besides this ‘quiet disaster’; quiet because it is known only to them. The final question is whether there is cause for sorrow because in the final kiss of parting, which is compared to a ‘white murder’ of love relationship, they have become two different people, (two ghosts, two Hamlets, two soliloquies) living in a distant physical and mental world of the future.
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