Monday, April 5, 2010

The Stone – W.W.Gibson

The poem talks about a young woman whose lover died in a stone quarry. She was stunned by the shocking news of her lover’s death. She is a picture of deep sorrow. The poem has an abrupt opening. It starts when the conversation is going on between two people. The woman goes to the poet and asks him for cutting a stone in the opening line.
Three days before a huge rock had struck her lover in a stone quarry. In spite of giving warning and shot fired, he was loitering and full of spirit. Suddenly a rock fell and he was found under the rock. When he saw the rock his eyes saw his end. The poet saw this and he wanted to break this news to his lover. He was afraid and very careful in his words. But before he could utter a word he saw she was standing like a stone because some poor fellow had already told the news. The fellow wide opened the door and told the news of her lover’s death without knowing the consequence and left the woman lifeless.
The poet can guess what would have happened by looking at the woman’s face. The woman stood like a stone, her heart was dead. She didn’t cry nor moan. The boy’s mother was weeping but she didn’t for three days and three nights. She did not stir.
She never closed her eyes, from sunset to sunrise. She didn’t cry but her eyes saw everything. The fourth day, when the poet came from work he saw the woman waiting for him at his door and said “And will you cut a stone for him?” and spoke nothing but followed the poet. When the poet sat in the chair she was just staring at his face. She was waiting patiently. The poet saw her gray eyes which were staring at him and he felt as if the eyes are plucking his heart and sucking the breath from him.
The poet could not wait any more so he stood and started to cut the stone in a square. As the poet was working she sat beside him watching everything day & night. When he was cutting the name of her lover she was watching each stroke but didn’t utter a single word. The stroke broke her silence.
Her eyes didn’t move from my hands. She was watching me with bloodless lips. Every cut of the chisel gave a deeper cut to her heart. It looked as if death was killing her inside. When the poet has finished his work she breathed his name and with a sigh passed through the open door and never came again. The next night the poet was working late because he was cutting her name on the stone.
Thus the woman represents the picture of silent and sorrow, it also shows how she was in love with her lover that she could not bare the sorrow of his death and so died after cutting his stone.

10 comments:

Pravina Rai said...

Helped me study for my test! thanks a lot :)

Pravina Rai said...

Is the stone cutter the poet? are you sure? Do reply asap .

lakshmi said...

thank you for the summary.............
helped me a lot 4 the recitation competition.........

hayse said...

helped me too :) ty :)

monisrohan said...

helped me tooooo... :-) keep it up

suba ram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ma Angaelica Llanera said...

did the woman's lover wanted to die? he let the stone hit him as the line said "He loitered, while the shot was fired—
A lively stripling, brave and tall, 10
And sure of all his heart desired.

Leenie said...

NO! He did not wish to die!. He was, it seemed..very happy with his life and love. His death was accidental. Sometimes, in life unfortunate things occur. Things of which we have no control over. This is a very telling poem of love and it's depth to which most of us barely scratch it's surface. Most of us use the word love so lightly nowadays and toss it about so carelessly that I think the concept is loss. I felt The love she had for her lover was bottomless/infinite if you will. I admire this love. She could not see her life w/o him in it. Very sad indeed! Furthermore, as is customary when something of this magnitude occur there's always some flighty person, whom devoid of thought tends to run ahead and carelessly speak not realizing it's detriment. Perhaps, someone more understanding, such as the foreman at the quarry would have been a lot softer at effectively delivering this horrible message to the young woman. A different delivery may have given her time to hear and accept this heart/ soul crushing message. Bloody Hell! She, Perhaps, may have come to a frame of mind to inquiry into the days event. Hence, ask a question or two in an effort to decipher what actually happened. eg: What was he doing prior to the accident? One could go on. Couldn't one? with questions? Unfortunately, someone else got there prior and carelessly blurted out the days occurrence w/o so much as a thought. I gather, that the young woman having received the message as she did was in COMPLETE SHOCK! She seemed to be in shock throughout the poem. Sitting night after night, watching, barely breathing as her lover's name was being carved in his grave stone. Perhaps, waiting to exhale (so to speak) finally, once it was completed and the mallet had been set down she sighed her final sigh and gained enough strength to finally utter her lover's name. It was over for her. Life, as she knew it. living, for her was futile. So the following night, the stone carver laboured late carving her name in a stone. Tis safe to say..she died of a broken heart.

Arlene H

Unknown said...

pathetic

Unknown said...

pathetic

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