Lydia Davis's Head, Heart: A Poem Analysis

Lydia Davis’s Head, Heart: A Poem Analysis

In her short poem “Head, Heart,” Lydia Davis explores the relationship between a person’s head and heart. (Knight and Davis) In 1947, Lydia Davis was born. She became a well-known fiction writer and book critic as her career took off. Davis was an excellent short story writer who wrote like a novelist. She received numerous American writing awards as a result of her work. One of Lydia Davis’ outstanding works is the ten-line verse poem “Head, Heart” (Knight, and Davis). This essay will give a general overview of the poem’s tone, word choices, imagery, figures of speech, and other elements and evaluate them.

The discussion of a fair share of loss endured by both the entities experiencing distress serves as the foundation for the meaningful interaction between the head and the heart. The head comforts the heart during a time of intense sorrow because it is believed that the head has a responsibility to support the heart in its hour of need. Davis’ extremely realistic depiction of the heart and head allows viewers to identify with the entities as their own heart and head. Throughout the poem, Lydia Davis tries to elicit empathy from the readers, encouraging them to emulate it in their own lives as they try to recall their own conversations with their head and heart. The poem also exhorts the reader to help their head and head develop a contract of mutual aid, mentioning things like:

Lydia Davis’s Head Heart: A Poem Analysis

“Head is all heart has.

Help, head. Help heart (Head, Heart, 9-10).

Even though “Head, Heart” appears to be a brief poem with only ten lines of free verse, a closer look at the poem reveals that every line ends with the word “Heart.” The reader experiences an emotional reaction as they read the words “head and heart.” Additionally, the poem’s title (“Lydia Davis – Head, Heart”) is still applicable because the heart and head are mentioned several times in the poem. The reader, however, may also experience some confusion. From lines five to eight of the poem, where it is mentioned that:

“But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.

Heart is so new to this.

I want them back, says heart (Head, Heart, 5-8).”

The emotional bond between the two characters and how the heart is dependent on the heart is the main theme of Head, Heart. The tone of the poem is kept on the emotional side because it is about heartbreak. The idea of the struggle people face on a daily basis is highlighted by this brief and potent poem, despite the fact that it lacks significant rhythm. The speaker discusses From the perspective of how people lose their loved ones and experience heartbreak as a result, as the poem states in the line “Heart weeps” (Head, Heart, 1). The poem’s use of the weeping heart image effectively addresses the perspectives of losing a loving relationship and the potential of losing a loved one to death. Figures of speech play a significant role in the poem because the head and the heart are what a person should focus on when making a crucial choice in their life (Knight and Davis). As a result, a constant struggle between listening to the heart and the head is evident in every person. The stages of grief are described in detail, with the theme of heartbreak. The second step is highlighted with the line “after the heart cries,” after the first.

“Head tries to help heart.”

Head tells heart how it is, again: You will lose the ones you love (Head, Heart, 2-3).”

People are ill-prepared to deal with loss when it occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. They begin by sobbing and adopting a head-heart-comforting perspective in the hopes of getting a favorable response because the poem mentions how comforting one is from the head to the heart makes the heart feel better. As the heart and head interact with one another as the realistic parts of the human body, people are unaware of their positive direction. The poem has more depth because the heart and head provide an alive perspective of the human body. After experiencing some sad moments, the heart eventually comes to understand the inevitable things. The head provides support for the heart’s need for time to process information. The heart therefore depends on the head.

Lydia Davis’s Head Heart: A Poem Analysis

“They will all go. But even the earth will go someday.

“Heart feels better, then (Head, Heart, 4-5).”

Thus, “Head, Heart,” a poem by Lydia Davis, is about people who have lost loved ones. When someone is grieving over someone they love, their heart doesn’t have any reason to think that things will turn out well. The head knows that loss is unavoidable because nothing on earth is eternal. Such sensible justifications instill peace of mind and heart in a person’s life. Even though relief is only momentary, people continue to miss their loved ones and make calls to the head in an attempt to ease their hearts. The author is conveying to the reader a message of hope that things will turn out well in the end.


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