The poem Life by Charlotte Bronte is about the optimism of the poet. Bronte wrote the poem under her pseudonym Currer Bell. The Rhyme scheme of the poem is ABAB (except rain & dream). The poem is divided into three stanzas consisting of 8, 4 and 12 lines respectively.
I have tried to provide line by line explanation of the poem Life by Charlotte Bronte.
In stanza 1, the poet begins with the word “Life” which is the title of the poem. It emphasises the fact that the poem is all about the life. According to the poet, we should believe that life is not a dream so dark as sages say i.e. the life is not as bad most of the people believe and say.
Often a little morning rain foretells a pleasant day. The term morning rain is a metaphor which symbolises sorrow & despair. The line means that despair is often a way to joy and happiness like morning rain which leads to a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom, but these are transient all i.e. there are sorrows and griefs in the life of every human being but they are not permanent. rather they are temporary and short-lived.
In the final line of the 1st stanza, the poet raises a rhetorical question, If the shower will make the roses bloom, O why lament its fall? meaning that if rain can make the rose bloom then why should we mourn it. In other words, sorrows lead to happiness and should not be lamented.
Stanza 2 consists of four lines. According to the poet, Life’s sunny hours flit by very fast and thus instead of lamenting the sorrows and griefs one should gratefully, cheerily enjoy those fast flying moments of life.
In the 3rd stanza, the poet says in a rhetoric way says that though the death may take away your life during our best time (the most enjoyable time) or the sorrows take over our hope, we should never lose the will and determination because hope has elastic springs.
Elastic springs mean that the hope is elastic and like the spring season. It can be bent by the sorrows (or by the winter) but cannot be broken and retains itself after the clouds of gloom go away (or when the winter goes away).
In the next line, the poet brings in herself and says that though the sorrows and griefs have bent her down or her hopes, she still has her golden wings which are capable of being flying even after griefs bent them down.
She is can bear all the hurdles of life as she is manful (strong) and fearless. And on the Day of Judgement (as believed in Christianity) her courage will make her victorious. Thus the poem ends with a strong will, hope and determination that good will ultimately come to her.
Central Idea of Life by Charlotte Bronte
In the first stanza, taking the example of rain (as a symbol of despair), the poet asks us to see its bright side. In the second stanza, she asks us to enjoy the fast running moments of life. In the 3rd stanza, she becomes optimistic about being courageous even after her death.