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Self Pity Poem Analysis

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D.H. Lawrence’s Poem Self Pity is a short and powerful poem about the self pity in humans. Lawrence starts the poem out stating “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself” often humans will dwell on things that have went wrong in the past, whereas an animal will take life’s imperfections and keep living without thinking twice. (1, 2). Lawrence wants the reader to understand the insignificance of self pity when he says “A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough”, a bird being ever so small compared to a human; will simply accept death as it comes without feeling sorry about the outcome of life (3). Humans, on the other hand, will be on their death bed contemplating their past, wondering if they will be missed, or what others will think of them when they’re gone.

The last sentence in the poem is the most influential of the entire piece, Lawrence states the bird died “without ever having felt sorry for itself”, the bird knows no sorrow for its self, and the bird has accepted life and death as so (4). When it comes to people sometimes they have so much self pity they can’t accept the darts life throws, to the point they cannot emotionally recover. Animals in the wild live every day of life to the fullest; they don’t think about what they don’t have or what others think of them unlike people. Humans have the tendency to hold back in life due to the fear of what others will think, which is a form of self pity. Lawrence wants the reader to not show characteristics of self pity, but to simply live life as it is and die in peace, not worrying if you lived up to another person’s expectations.

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