Denise Levertov is considered one of the greatest poets in the history of America. In her work of poetry, she addressed several themes and aspects of life like nature, love, protest, hatred and Christianity regarding her faith in God. She used poetry to describe and explain her feelings towards different things and issues that surrounded different people. Wedding Ring was one of her many poems she wrote throughout her career (Levertov 87).Denise divorced in 1974 and through this poem she was expressing how she felt. The aim of the poem was to help her air her feelings that were characterized by pain and sorrow.
Wedding Ring brings out clearly the picture of sadness. The author looks back, and the reminiscences of the event that took away her happiness makes her feel sad. The figure of speech is the best she can use to relay her ideas to the audience. She describes her marriage, which was good at its time. The poem is about a broken marriage. Sadness and pain are some of the themes portrayed in her words. Symbolism is used when she uses a wedding ring as a symbol of love and commitment in a marriage. This commitment is viewed as a strain depending on the owner of the ring (Bankole Para 4). In the poem, she says “it can’t be given away for fear of bringing ill luck” (Levertov 87). This statement means that the marriage was characterized by bad happenings and misfortunes. She feared nobody would undergo what she experienced.
Denise uses similie to farther reveal her message. In the statement “my wedding ring lies in a basket as if at the bottom of a well”, she links the bottom of the basket where the ring lies to the bottom of the well (Denise & Paul Para 2). This is where she wants the ring to be as this would bury the memories and keep them far away. She demonstrates the loss of interest in the ring as she lets it lie among keys of abandoned houses and telephone numbers with no names attached. She farther finalizes the relationship saying “nails waiting to be needed and hammered into some wall” (Levertov 87). She is no longer interested in it and wants an end to it.
Denise points out how much it hurts when much effort and commitment are put in a relationship which eventually comes to an abrupt end. Having high hopes in the relationship that later appears something never meant to be is the point she addresses. She likens her wedding ring to bad luck as it brings misery and sorrow. She does not intend to give it out as bad luck would follow the possessor. Weddings are supposed to be followed by happiness, but her life later becomes full of sadness and pain (Bankole Para 5). Pain is felt when she uses the word “gone” in the poem.
Wedding ring is a poem full of sadness and regret. The poem is also a reflective story as it is used by the author to air grief and pain she experienced in life. Denise uses this poem to talk about her life and of how she lost something she once cherished. She is not happy about her “wedding ring”, and the only option is to keep it away among other useless and abandoned things. For a woman, a wedding ring is a symbol of sharing, loyalty and boundless love, but if the marriage does not work as expected, the wedding ring becomes a symbol of sadness and sorrow (Bankole Para 6). The Wedding Ring poem, therefore, discusses some of the worrying issues that bother women a lot as far as marriage, love and commitment are concerned. The lesson from the poem is clear that things that are regarded important at one time can lose their value leaving emptiness and regret.