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Wood of Green [Poem + In-Depth Interpretation]

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Giancarlovan avatar Giancarlovan
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Wood of Green [Poem + In-Depth Interpretation]

Please allow some time for the poem to load :)

Poem Text

I hope you enjoyed reading the poem as much as I did writing it!
I highly recommend going through the poem first before proceeding to the in-depth interpretation and analysis below.

local_library Interpretation and Analysis local_library

Examining the poem from a macro perspective, we notice the poetic form: a lipogrammatic acrostic arranged into seven stanzas consisting of quatrains with alternating voices. Ranging from the message formed by the first letters of each line, to how there is no letter 'i' until the very last letter, to the presence of two voices in an eternal dialogue, each of these elements consciously convey meaning supporting the theme: one’s understanding of love evolves and matures through experience.

The Hidden Message

Just from looking at the poem, its unique form comes to light. It is composed of seven stanzas with four lines each. While this conveys a sense of regularity and predictability, we notice that stanzas 1, 3, 5, and 7 (odd-numbered stanzas) are aligned left, while stanzas 2, 4, and 6 (even-numbered stanzas) are aligned right.

Following the negative space running through the middle of the poem, we find ourselves meandering through a winding path, slowing us down and eliciting an impulse to ruminate. Looking at the first letter of each line, a hidden message is unearthed:

Evolve from untranscended rumen

This cryptic call to action represents the persona’s resolution after pondering the notion of love. ‘Evolve’ is an imperfect anagram of ‘love’, representing how previously, the persona has not yet come to terms with the idea of love, but has, through his ruminations, bettered his understanding of love and his personal limitations in this regard.

He characterizes his previous thoughts about love as ‘untranscended’, rudimentary, and naive, which feels like a mire he had dwelled in for a long time. But now he has committed to leaving from this rumen (a metaphorical representation of thought), through slow, continual improvements encapsulated in the notion of evolution. He is coming to terms with how he must first establish love for self to truly love others. We shall better see the persona’s maturation as we look into the poem line by line later.

We also notice that the acrostic message is broken up by the sets of quatrains. The consistent sets of four lines convey a sense of rhythm and steadiness, representing the inexorable march of time, and likewise the persona’s own ruminative march through the woods. The acrostic’s being broken up hints at the persona’s internal turmoil, where deeper thoughts are fleeting and can be difficult to bring to fore when time marches on so swiftly and steadily.

Me, Myself, and I

This is likewise hinted at by another intriguing element. The poem is a lipogram, where the letter ‘i’ is completely absent from the poem until the last letter of the last line, where it stands alone, staunch in its representation of self. This carries multiple meanings.

It can be interpreted as the persona seeing love as an act of selflessness and giving, and only realizing later that relationships must be mutual and bilateral, where one both gives and receives. It can also be interpreted as how the persona had been extricating himself from the idea of love, focusing too little on the internal emotions and thoughts that it involves, until he finally ruminates and comes to terms with them; he has finally come to realize the importance of the self in love, and the importance of his own maturity and understanding.

The Two Voices

Going back to the contrast between odd and even-numbered stanzas, we notice their subtly different fonts and backgrounds. This suggests the presence of two voices.

Moreover, both fonts are serif type, with the even-numbered stanzas being an italicized version of that of the odd-numbered ones. The backgrounds of these stanzas are likewise the same image, albeit cast in differently tinted lights. Such similarities imply that these voices are not the voices of different people. They are one and the same, representing the voices of an internal dialogue.

One voice speaks in the present tense, with a grim, resigned tone that describes the gloom of the surroundings and the gloom of own thought. This is matched by the dark blue background of the odd-numbered stanzas, as dark blue represents moroseness and introspection. As it speaks in the present tense, it shows the current thoughts the persona bears, and reflects his current (and evolving) understanding of love.

Meanwhile, the voice in the even-numbered stanzas is kinder, speaking with a softer, more wistful tone, as though longing for the past (hence its use of past tense). The dark viridian background reflects a night that has fallen on what was a bright green forest, signifying the (inevitable) end of something good, which in this case pertains to either the persona’s past relationship, or his previous blissful notions of love.

A Deep Dive

To enrich our understanding of the overarching ideas and themes we have just explored, we can dive deeper into each line of the poem:


First Stanza

Second Stanza

Third Stanza

Fourth Stanza

Fifth Stanza

Sixth Stanza

Seventh Stanza

This poem was inspired by the personal encounters of love experienced by various members of my family, my friends, and myself, representing an amalgamation of perspectives on love whose confluence governs my own prevailing perspective of love.

I dedicate this poem to everyone who experiences or yearns to experience love. It is a fundamental aspect of the human nature that we still cannot fully grasp, after all. Nevertheless, it takes us through joys and sorrows, and makes love all the more intriguing and indispensable.

I hope you enjoyed embarking on this literary journey.

Now relax a bit, because here are some fun facts about this poem:
  • Time Taken: I planned for about three days after getting inspired, and then took about two whole afternoons composing the poem itself. The analysis took another afternoon, and I spent a night figuring Photoshop out to make the image of the poem itself. I'm quite happy with the result :)
  • Music Listened to During Composition: While composing this poem, I was listening to an orchestral mashup of Canon in D and River Flows in You - it's nice and relaxing, and at times inspiring, check it out!

02/23/2021 2:20 am
Level 1 : New Collective
LesTuesday avatar
This guy knows more about poetry than I know about inactivity

and that's saying something
02/23/2021 5:27 am
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Haha! Well I'd be glad to share with you more about poetry, and maybe you can share a thing or two about inactivity too
02/23/2021 12:58 am
Level 1 : New Miner
Audible_Druid avatar
Amazing work! Hope to see more of these poems from you in the future! :)
02/23/2021 5:26 am
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Thanks! Stay tuned for more, they're on their way :D
02/22/2021 6:45 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Musician
Punkamoar avatar
Dang boi, that's good stuff
02/22/2021 8:06 pm
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Thanks! Glad you like it!
02/22/2021 12:34 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Lava Rider
eagoy avatar
The entry from the person I have been waiting on. I did expect you to go all-out, but I - highly - underestimated what all-out means in your dictionary.

I still need to read everything properly (+ translator to double-check words/translations), but I can wholeheartedly agree with Algeusia.

Presentation wise, time well spend on the Photoshop. Eye-pleasing and subtle emphasize the 2 voices/inner monologue. Self-token image? Since there is no source-reference (with the way you explain everything in detail, I can't help to nitpick/wonder it)
02/23/2021 12:55 am
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Hey! He just replied. Here's the original photo:
02/22/2021 1:08 pmhistory
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Ah, I feel honored to be awaited! Take your time, the poem is indeed quite loaded, haha!

As for the image source, I first saw it on my friend's laptop as his wallpaper. I quite liked the way the path snaked through the forest, so I asked him to send it to me. Let me ask my friend for the source today.

Also, let me add this tidbit to the fun facts section :D

Edit: Oops, the post can't be edited in the meantime as the contest is in its reviewing phase, I'll add it afterwards then
02/22/2021 11:42 am
Level 13 : Journeyman Artist
Algeusia avatar
Took me quite a while to go through the reaaaallly detailed post, and I must say every second was worth it! Who'd have known that you could supercoil so many layers of meaning into a simple-looking poem? Well done as always!
02/22/2021 1:01 pmhistory
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
Giancarlovan avatar
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

In fact, I discovered more subtle meanings in the poem after I wrote it, when I was interpreting it. It reminds me of how the the beauty of a poem comes from both the poet and the reader :)
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