We Have Not Long To Love Mood

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Research Paper and Poem Analysis: Tennessee Williams We Have Not Long To Analyze This Poem Remember a time when the adrenaline ran through you, speeding your every movement, and the nervous feeling that overtook your entire body. Now remember a time when you felt relaxed and calm, like the clock stopped and time stood still. Now, as strange as it sounds, imagine those two feelings combining. This surreal state seems to describe the mood of the twenty-line poem “We Have Not Long to Love” by playwright and poet Tennessee Williams. This poem reflects that feeling when you know there’s no time and you must act quickly, but time seems not to move. The word choice, in the beginning, reflects a rushed feeling “We have not long to love. / Light does not stay.” (Williams 1-2). Then the poem suddenly changes the mood to relaxed, like there’s enough time for anything, “In silence I have watched you / comb your hair.” (7-8). Further statements, “I could but did not, reach / to touch your arm. / I could, but do not, break / that which is still.” (11-14) give the impression that he is indecisive and that he has time to both make up and change his mind. The last four lines are…show more content…
We already discussed lines 11 through 14, in which the poet, contemplates his actions toward this woman, debating whether to touch her arm establishing physical contact or “break / that which is still” by telling her how he feels about her. I’d also like to acknowledge and appreciate the ironic wordplay of an rhythm-cracking line break after the word “break”. “(Almost the faintest whisper / would be shrill.)” (15-16) suggest that anything he says will be taken the wrong way and he will regret it. He is trapped in his mind between letting this girl know how he feels about her and being disappointed by her reaction because, in the words of Jonathan Coulton, “Isn’t it better not to know?” (in-text citation required of “Big Bad World
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