Analysis of Poetry “Sympathy” by. Emily Bronte

This paper has made to finish my final assignment on poetry class. I post this paper in order to help my friends and all of people who studied in English Department who have assignment to analyze some poetry to more understand how you made a good paper and analysis of the poem. I confident to post this coz I get grade “A” on my study 😀

Hope this post help you to solve you’re problem on doing your assignment 🙂








Ratnanggana A. M. P (A2B008078)








  1. Background of the study …………………………………………………………………………  2
  2. Purpose of the study ……………………………………………………………………………….  2
  3. Scope of the study ………………………………………………………………………………….  3


  1. The Poet ………………………………………………………………………………………………..  4
  2. The Poem ………………………………………………………………………………………………  6
  3. The Translation ………………………………………………………………………………………  7


  1. Metaphor ……………………………………………………………………………………………….  8
  2. Personification ……………………………………………………………………………………….  9
  3. Imagery …………………………………………………………………………………………………  9

CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF THE POEM ……………………………………………………………  11

CHAPTER V CONCLUSSION ………………………………………………………………………………  17

BIBLIOGRAPHY …………………………………………………………………………………………………  18





  1. A. Background of the study

Poem is a literary work that contains the meanings inside. It becomes a medium for the author to deliver his/her feeling, emotion, or even more, the reality of life. According to Clare, M. Teresa S.C in her book, A Book of Poetry (1960: 3), poem is the line and the strictly marked stanza, which gives the poem a definite pattern. When a person is in love with someone else, or maybe because of other events, he/she may pour all he/she feels into a form of writing called poem, some words which are arranged in certain pattern that contains a lot of meanings.

From writing the poem, our feeling which can’t be spoken, could expressed with more strong meaning inside word by word. And in this writing, the writers discussed about a poet titled “Sympathy” by Emily Bronte. Instead of concerning that this writing is given as a task, the writers find out that “Sympathy” is a love poem. That gives an interesting impression in how she expressed her feeling about love. Although, this poem tell about love, but she write about her broken-heart experience.


  1. B. Purpose of the study
  2. The writer are going to understand the meaning of the poem
  3. The writer intend to figure out the hidden meaning contained in the poem


  1. C. Scope of the study

This paper is only focused on three main aspects for analyzing the poetry. Also this paper is compiled by using library research and internet sources. Three kinds of figurative language that I used to analyze this poem are:

  1. Metaphor
  2. Personification
  3. Imagery

The writers assume those three main aspects are the most suitable for analyzing Sympathy by Emily Bronte’s poem.






  1. A. The Poet

There is an official author of this poem. I took this poem from Pamela Norris book “The Poem of Emily Jane Bronte” (1997: X-XVI). From this book I found the story about the poet, Emily Bronte, and I put it in my paper.

Emily Bronte was born on 30th July 1818 with the full name is Emily Jane Bronte. Bronte family then moves to Haworth, on Patrick Bronte’s appointment to the perpetual curacy. When Mrs. Maria Bronte death caused by cancer (38), her elder sister, Elizabeth Bronwell, moves to personage to look after Bronte family. In 1st July, Maria and Elizabeth, two Eldest Bronte sisters, sent to bard at the Clergy’s daughter’s school, Cowan Bridge. And Charlotte Bronte sends to clergy Daughter’s School in 10th August. Emily Bronte joins her sister to school at 25th November, when she was 6th years old.

Maria died because of tuberculosis when she still contacted at school. Elizabeth has the same experience in tuberculosis like Maria, and she sent home on 31st May. Because of this situation, Patrick Bronte withdraws Charlotte and Emily from the school. Just 14 days after Emily withdraw from school, Elizabeth has passed away. On 5th June, Patrick returns from leads with the boy soldiers which inspire the creation of imaginary world, Glasstown. The children begin to write plays, stories and poems in tiny hand-made books.


After Charlotte goes to Roe Head School Mirfield, Yorkshire, and begin to teach her sister at home, she and Patrick create a new kingdom, Angria. Emily and Anne found the imaginary world, Gondal. A year after Emily found her imaginary world, Charlotte returns to Roe Head as a teacher taking Emily with her as a pupil but her unable to settle in there. Then she takes up a post as a teacher in a girls’ boarding school at Law Hill, Halifax. In 1842, Patrick escort Charlotte and Emily to Brussels where they enter the Pensionnat Heger as Pupils. Charlotte and Emily leaves Brussels when they heard about the death of Aunt Elizabeth Branwell.

In 1845, Charlotte discovers Emily’s poems and persuades her sister to publish a joint collection. They each begin to write novel. In May 1846, Emily’s poem begin to publicate by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell by Aylott & Jones : Despite some good reviews only copies are sold. In next year, T.C. Newby accepts Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey for publication but rejects Charlotte’s first novel, The Professor. After a long journey of she and her literary works, finally she died because of the same illness with her sister, TBC, in 19th December 1848 when she still 30th years old. And then in 10th December, 1850, Smith, Elder & Co publishes a single volume edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey with biographical preface by Charlotte Bronte.


  1. B. The Poem


By Emily Bronte


There should be no despair for you

While nightly stars are burning;

While evening pours its silent dew,

And sunshine gilds the morning.

There should be no despair – though tears

May flow down like a river

Are not the best beloved of years

Around your heart for ever?


They weep, you weep, it must be so:

Winds sigh as you are sighing,

And winter sheds its grief in snow

Where Autumn’s leaves are lying:

Yet, there revive, and from their fate

Your fate cannot be parted:

Then, journey on, if not elate,

Still, NEVER Broken-hearted !




  1. C. The Translation


Bagimu seharusnya tidak ada keputusasaan

Selama bintang-bintang masih berpijar

Selama malam embun yang tenang dikeluarkan

Dan matahari menyepuh pagi yang bersinar

Bagimu seharusnya tidak ada keputusasaan – melainkan air mata ini

Yang mungkin mengalir deras seperti kali

Tak menjadi yang terbaik sekian lama dicintai

Akankah hatimu bias kukelilingi?


Mereka menangis, kau menangis, ini memang seharusnya

Angin menghela napas seakan kau yang menghela

Dan di atas salju musim dingin menitikkan air mata

Dedaunan di musim gugur berbaring dimana?

Namun, dihidupkan kembali, dan dari nasib mereka

Nasibmu tidak dapat dibagi

Lalu, perjalanan dimulai, jika tak ada rasa gembira

Tetap, tak ada patah hati!





  1. A. Metaphor

Metaphor is an expression in which a word or phrase and the concept represented stand figuratively for another word or phrase and its concept. Remember that figuratively is the opposite of literally. Based on An introduction to the language of poetry (1960:45) Metaphor is kinds of figurative language which uses words or phrases to substitute the real meaning of the writer.

Example:     – She is the rose, the glory of the day. (“Spenser”)

– O western orb sailing the heaven. (“Whitman”)

(Barnett, Sylvan dkk. An introduction to literarure.1989.USA.Page: 445)

– Two roads diverged in a wood,

And I look the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

(“The road not taken” by Robert Frost)

In this poem, the words “Two roads diverged in a wood…” it doesn’t mean that in a wood there are two roads, but two roads is a symbol. In the real meaning, the word road can’t be taken, because it is not a thing. But in this poem, the road is compared as a thing that can be taken.


  1. B. Personification

Personification is the attribution of human feelings or characteristic to abstraction or to inanimate objects. But time did beckon, to the flowers, and they by noon most cunningly did steal away (“Herbert”).

Herbert attributes a human gesture to time and shrewdness to flowers. Of all figures, personification gives to airy nothings a local habitation a name according to “An introduction to literarure” (1989:448).


The wind stood up and gave a shout

He whistle on his fingers and

Kicked the withered leaves about

And thumped the branches with his hand

And said he’d kill and kill and kill,

And so he will and so he will.

(James Stephens, “The wind”)

His words “The winds stood up and gave a shout” is a personification. The wind is unanimated object, and it couldn’t stand up or even gave a shout. These are the human activity. But on personification the winds equal with human and attributed human characteristic.

  1. C. Imagery

Imagery is one of the elements of poetry-related intrinsic sense. As revealed Perrine in “sound and sense: imagery may be defined as the representation through language of sense experience” (1956:54). Imagery was born as a process of development of an imagination of a reader in a literary work in order to explore its meaning, which in this case will be discussed a poem. In an effort to bring the element of imagery, a reader is required to have knowledge and experience of language and culture.

According to Perrine imagery consists of seven categories, in addition to the usual visual imagery looked in various literary works; there are six other categories of imagery that is:

But an image may also represent a sound (auditory imagery); a smell (olfactory imagery); a taste (gustatory); touch, such as hardness, softness, wetness, or heat and cold (tactile imagery); an internal sensation, such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, or nausca (organic imagery); or movement or tension in the muscles or joints (kinesthetic) (Perrine,1956:552-553)

However, among the seven categories of imagery mentioned above, we will only discussed the imagery that common shown in the poem

  1. Visual imagery

Visual imagery is the imagery that can be gained from the experience of the senses of our sight (eyes).

  1. Kinesthetic imagery

Kinesthetic imagery is imagery produced from an experience that form of movement.

  1. Auditory imagery

Auditory imagery is the element of imagery associated with the sense of hearing,



Sympathy is a poem which tells about how Emily feels sad because she lose her beloved one. She feels sad but she keep tries not to desperate like other woman when they broke her heart and then crying or giving up for living in the world. She shows how strong she is. In her heart there are no feeling of losing and no despair for him. But with all one’s might she tries, she still crying and there is a tears fall down from her eyes. It should be she crying, and not only she who cried but also other people, the people who love Emily and the people who loved by Emily. She sigh just like a wind that blow and sighing. The winter support the situation, when her broken-hearted winter is coming and snow was fall down. And there is a changing season from autumn until winter. But finally she gets the spirit again to move on without her beloved one. She keeps going on her journey with happiness. And feel no broken-hearted again.

Emily tried to tell her feeling by this poem with using some figurative language that shown many examples of it. There are:

  1. A. Metaphor

In this poem there are some words that describe with metaphor. In the second line, the word “While nightly stars are burning” it is a metaphor. Burning is a verb, and it just functional for describe what the people do, and burning usually used to describe thing which has a fire condition. But the poet used this to describe stars. Actually stars are not burned /burning, it is just a subjunctive. Its mean that the star still set aglow and the glow are red like thing that burned.

The other words is silent (in 3rd line), silent means quiet, there are no sound heard and no voice. But silent are applicable when it used with things, and dew is not a things, a real things and we can reach it, touch it, even hold it. The poet wants to show that the dew is coming out with no sound, no one heard or notice it. The dew keep silent when it spread among the city, not like a wind or a storm that have a sound and everybody will notice when it’s coming. Silent mean that, the dew comes without permission and without confirmation.

In the 5th line, ”May flow down like a river” , in this sentence the words flow down describe the word tears in 4th line. The tears actually doesn’t flow down, it just coming out and not stream swiftly like a river. The tears are compared with the river, because the shape and how its flow is same with river. The poet expressed her feeling about sadness, she sad because she was broke with her boyfriend/ someone who loved by her. She crying to lost him. And want to show how she missing him.

The word revive in “Yet, these revive, and from their fate” is metaphor too. Revive just applicable for something that real and life. But in this poem, revive indicate Emily’s feeling which reborn and have a spirit again to walk in her own fate without her beloved one. Revive from the sorrow, the sadness because she losing her beloved one. She tries to move again, and face the entire problem without him in her side. She can solve everything and doing anything again like she is reborn. With the new spirit in her and her new hope.

“Your fate cannot be parted” is a metaphor. Parted is only used for a things that real shape and could be part into a pieces. And fate is not a things, and it’s can’t be parted like a real things. It means that the fate of someone who loved by Emily can’t take two way, he couldn’t choose Emily or something else that the same important with Emily. He could not take the two options of those things, and he have to choose just one from the options.

The last word is broken-hearted. Heart is not broke like the other things such as a ceramics, statue, stone, plate, or other things that is fragile. It is usually used to express someone whose are her/his heart feel like it broke into many small pieces. The heart is a fragile like a ceramics or other fragile things. In these poem, the poet wants to show that she is not broken-hearted like other girls that will be broken if they losing someone who is important for them. Emily still strong to face her feeling and her problem, also keep going to walk in her journey of life.


  1. B. Personification

Emily not only used many metaphor words but also used many personification words. Such as gilds in “And sunshine gilds the morning”. Gilds are a verb, and verb is a word to describe what people do. This is what usually people do. Gilds usually used accompany with gold. But in this poem, the gilds means that the sunshine is gilds the morning, because the gold and the sunshine in the morning have the same color, and the color is gold. So the sunshine is compared with a human that gilds with a gold and make it become gold. The sunshine are rise to gilds the morning and make the morning have the same color with the things that gilds by human.

The other word is sigh. Sigh usually indicate what the people do, the people sigh when they are tired of doing something or feeling something. They sigh to express their feeling, and to decrease their weariness. In this poem, the word sigh describe the word wind. Wind is not a human or a life creature. But wind in this poem has the same characteristic with human; it is the wind can sigh. The wind sighing because it is tired to feel sadness, same with Emily who tired and then sigh. The wind feel the same and sighing together, although in the poem there are no explanation about Emily sighing but the writer think that Emily was sighing too like a wind, but the wind represent Emily sighing.

Winter is not a human or a real creature that can pour something and can sheds something. But in this poem winter has the same characteristic as a real creature of a human and can sheds something else. The poet wants to describe that the winter sheds the grief, the winter sad and show its sadness into a snow. The shape of sheds are not a real things, it is a feeling and can’t be touch or seeing by naked eye. And may be the shape of sheds is a tears of Emily, she is a winter, and she cry, she sheds a tears into a white paper (snow) and pour her feeling in a poem.

“And winter sheds its grief in snow” is other word of personification. The grief means feeling of sadness. And it’s applicable if we use to describe the people’s feeling, not to describe things such as a snow. The snow can’t feel anything like a human. It just represents the people’s feeling that the snow has the same characteristic like a human. The poet wants to show that the snow, the white and symbolism of hopeless and can be the symbolism of holiness, are condoling with the poet’s situation. The snow feels sad because the poet losing someone.

The other personification word is lying in “Where Autumn’s leaves are lying”. The word lying is a verb, and just a life creature that can do it. Leaves are not life and move by itself without other things stir it. But in this poem, the leaves can move by itself and lying like a human or animals. The leaves have the characteristic of human to move by it. From this poem, the sentence leaves are lying have a meaning that the leaves, one of important part from tree, is witted and finally it is fall to the ground and lying. Just like a human, when they lose one important part and finally they are fall and desperate also the may be die.

The last word is elate in sentence “Then, journey on, if not elate”. The words elate describe the word “journey”. Elate is a people’s feeling about happiness, and journey is a noun, it is a thing and doesn’t has a heart or brain to think and feel. But in this poem the poet want to expressed the journey that she/he did with enjoyable and happy feeling. And if there is no happiness the journey will not did happily.


  1. C. Imagery

The first imagery word is despair. It is indicate the organic imagery, the imageries of internal sensation. Despair means that a feeling of hopeless of a human. They losing their hope of something are despair, and it is internal sensation, sensation of feeling losing hope. The same organic imagery is beloved; it is the word that means feeling of love and loving each other. This is internal sensation between two people or more than it.

The other kind of imagery is a tactile, for example from this poem is the word burning. This is a sensation of burned, struck with the fire and feels hot in our skin. In the poem, the burning occurs on the stars, but actually the meaning of burning is we’ve got a fire and will feel burned and hot.

The examples of kinesthetic imagery from this poem are pours, gilds, and weep. The word pours has a meaning that doing pour activity, it’s a movement of people. Gilds are a kinesthetic imagery too. Gilds have a meaning that doing gild with a gold and make it becomes gold of color. And it is a movement, a motion of people who gild things. And weep is a motion of a thing which drops or dripping something wet, such us a blood, tears, and water. Although this is not a movement of a people but it’s a motion from something and there is a movement in how it is drops.

Another kind of imagery is a visual imagery. The examples are leaves are lying. In this sentence we can imagine that the leaves are lying on the ground. We see in our imagination how it lied and fall. This is kind of experience that we can see.

Auditory imagery in the poem is sigh. It is so clear that sigh is a sound of sighing. People’s activity when they are tired or bored of something. We can hear a sound of sigh and how the sound is like. The wind sigh, we can understand that the wind also be sigh too, but has a different sigh from a human. We can hear the wind is blowing like sighing. The other auditory imagery word is silent. We know what the meaning of silent, and we can understand what sound silent is. There is no sound and we can’t hear anything when it is silent. But silent is a sound although we can hear the sound.






Poem is one of literature’s works. And there are many kind of poem, such as religion poems, love poems, child poems, family poems, and many more. Poem may be written independently. From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more loosely defined as a fundamental creative writing act using language. There are a lot of aspects to beautify poem itself. Figurative language is to be a main aspect, because a poem mostly uses literary language. We focused on three figurative languages. There are metaphor, personification and imagery. It also gives more understanding meaning inside a literary works especially poem.

Sympathy is one of poem that made by Emily Bronte, the daughter of the great Bronte’s family that almost whole of the members are a poet. Sympathy is kind of love poems. It is show Emily’s feeling when she broke her heart and losing someone. She keeps strong to face the problems and face her heart to not crying or become weak. But as strong as she tries, she still crying and feel desperate. But she keep trying although she crying. Finally she get the spirit and move on in her journey without her beloved one.




Barnet, Sylvan dkk. 1989. An Introduction to Literature. USA

Clare, M. Teressa S.C. 1960. A Book of Poetry. The Macmillan Company : New York.

Norris, Pamela. 1997. The Poems of Emily Jane Bronte. Orion Publishing Group: London.

Perrine, Laurence. 1956. Sound and Sense : An Introduction to poetry. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Seymour, Chatman. An Introduction to The Language of Poetry. Cambridge

Hartmann, Silvia.

Nordquist, Richard.





Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM  Comments (1)  
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