Analysis Of The Poem ' Reluctance '

2085 Words9 Pages
In his poem “Reluctance”, he talks about being in denial and reluctantly carrying on as if the relationship will fix itself. The narrator uses nature to describe the state of his relationship, both longing for healing, but unwilling and unsure of how to go about it. The poem reads,
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’ (62)
The aster flower represents the absence of love and patience. Witch-hazel, meaning pliant or bendable, signifies that both parties in the relationship are unwilling to be flexible and understanding of each other’s wants, needs, and desires. Their hearts are “aching to seek,” (62) but they are in denial of any possible way to make the relationship work. The relationship between the “last lone aster”, “witch-hazel”, and the narrator connect the life and death cycle that is viewable in nature to his relationship. Frost recognizes that “knowledge of nature and man’s self-knowledge were thus interdependent.” (63) By understanding this, he can apply the wisdom to his relationship. A flower, as well as a relationship, need to be tended to or will begin the “wither.” Nevertheless, the life of the flower or relationship is never guaranteed. In love, one must remain flexible, knowing that even as a flower begins to “wither”, there may still be a way to bring it back to life. No matter how much knowledge is acquired throughout a lifetime, wisdom is in knowing that
Get Access