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Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air; The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care.
Lines Wilcox begins what came to be known as her most popular poem, with two very striking lines. Her speaker is making a pronouncement about how the world either accepts, or pushes away, human emotions. The second line adds a more complicated dimension to the relationship between humans and society.
Here she describes the opposite emotion, sadness displayed through weeping. People do not flock to the side of someone who is upset, human beings are not attracted to negativity, perhaps for fear it too may be shared.
This is a very perceptive generalized statement about how many people view the problems of others. Lines The following statement acts in the same way as the previous. The first stanza concludes with the two emotions being translated to sounds. Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go; They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe.
In the next set of eight lines of Solitude the speaker presents another five statements that outline how the world at large reacts to positivity and negativity. Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die. There is room in the halls of pleasure For a large and lordly train, But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain.
She begins by utilizing another comparison to the way meals can bring people together. These two examples are meant as metaphors for a larger way of being in everyday life. Welcoming community, companionship and happiness is going to inspire even more of the same. The following lines are different than those which proceeded them. In the last section she makes larger statements about life and death and the way that humans deal with pain. Join the conversation by commenting We make sure to reply to every comment submitted, so feel free to join the community and let us know your thoughts below.
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Biography[ edit ] Ella Wheeler was born in on a farm in Johnstown , Wisconsin , east of Janesville , the youngest of four children. Around the age of 8, Wilcox turned to writing poetry as an outlet. When she was 13 years old, her first poem was published. After losing her subscription to The New York Mercury, and being unable to afford to resubscribe, Wilcox thought that if she could get a piece of literature published, she would at least receive a copy of the paper wherein her piece was printed. The piece that she submitted is lost, and Wilcox later admitted that she could not recall even the topic of the poem. Wilcox became known as a poet in her own state by the time she graduated from high school.
Solitude - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox