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|by P. G. R. Nair|
Though the theme of the poem doesn’t bear direct parallels with this incident, I was rather reminded of it while reading this poem, “Transfigured Night”, as joyous acceptance and celebration of life is the theme here too.
“Transfigured Night” is about a couple walking through the woods on a moonlit night. In love, but ashamed, she reveals to him that she is pregnant with another man’s child, a man she never loved. The man responds with loving acceptance of her and the child as though it were his own. The unborn child, the man, the woman and the night itself are transfigured from darkness into light. The poem concisely represents this transformation in the first and last lines: “Two people walk through a bare, cold grove” versus “Two people walk through the lofty, bright night”. The five stanzas of the poem can be summarized as: brooding introduction in a dark natural setting, an angst-ridden confession full of unresolved longing and the woman’s plea, a brief return of the dark but moonlit natural setting, a deeply loving reply, noble and equal longing, and a final transfiguration into radiant grace and serenity.
There is a rare warmth in this poem. The world would be a sane and serene place to live in, if we echo the splendid sentiments of these lovers.
Two people are walking through a bare, cold wood;
He puts an arm about her strong hips.
English translation by Mary Whittall
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