I Find No Peace By Sir Thomas Wyatt
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice
I find no peace, and all my war is done
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on
That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not—yet can I scape no wise—
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion
Without eyes I see, and without tongue I plain
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health
I love another, and thus I hate myself
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;
Likewise displeaseth me both life and death,
And my delight is causer of this strife
Themes Of I Find No Peace
- Paradoxes: The poem is rich in paradoxes and contradictions, which reflect the poet’s inner turmoil. These contradictions include feelings of fear and hope, burning and freezing, flying and being unable to rise, and having nothing yet seizing the world. These paradoxes highlight the speaker’s emotional and psychological struggles.
- Imprisonment and Freedom: The poet feels trapped yet not confined by any specific circumstance. The idea of being held without being held suggests a sense of internal conflict and emotional bondage, which the poet cannot escape.
- Desire for Death and Health: The poet expresses a desire to perish but also asks for health. This dual desire reflects the inner conflict between wanting to escape the pain and suffering of love while also yearning for the well-being that love can bring.
- Self-Contradiction: The poet admits to loving another but hating oneself, which is another manifestation of inner conflict. This inner turmoil may stem from unrequited love or a love that is causing emotional distress.
- Emotional Rollercoaster: The poet alternates between sorrow and laughter, indicating the emotional turbulence experienced as a result of love. This juxtaposition of emotions adds to the complexity of the poem.
- Ambivalence Towards Life and Death: The poet expresses displeasure with both life and death, suggesting a sense of existential dissatisfaction. The cause of this dissatisfaction is identified as the poet’s own delight, indicating that love is the source of their inner strife.
In “I Find No Peace,” Wyatt captures the contradictory and tumultuous nature of human emotions, particularly in the context of love. The poem’s structure and language contribute to a sense of inner turmoil and conflict, creating a vivid portrayal of the speaker’s emotional state. It serves as a reflection on the complexities of love and the internal battles it can provoke in individuals.