Erica Kremer
Professor Scanlan
My Explication on a Portion of “The Taxi” by Amy Lowell
In the poem, “The Taxi” by Amy Lowell, a person describes their deep love for another individual, and the essence of their separation. The speaker uses a variety of figuartive language in order to portray the pain of her lover not being by her side. The use of simile, imagery, and juxtaposition has all been shown in order to cast the authors idea that without her lover by her side, “her world is dead”. A line that stood out, and gave away the meaning like no other is the two lines ending the poem: “Why should I leave you, to wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night”? These two lines not only encapsulate the meaning of the poem perfectly, but they leave the reader wondering why there is a choice of leaving her lover.
In the first line of the ending sentences; “Why should I leave you”, the author brings together the many questions asked throughout the poem. She describes her deep set connection to her lover, and the way that she is contemplating their separation. It seems like distance is the thing that seperates them, as the poem points at “streets coming fast, one after another”, along with “…lamps of the city prick my eyes, so that I can no longer see your face”. With these lines from the poem, the title “The Taxi” is also an indication of the lovers separation, as a taxi is taken to get from one place to another, along with its “alone in the city” sense. The reason these lines have been mentioned is due to the fact that “Why should I leave you” wraps the whole meaning together. The author questions why she should leave her lover, as it would cause her nothing but pain; but the author indicates that it isn’t a choice, and distance is what separates them. Her questioning herself ties together the idea that their love is meant to be; and if they’re not together, she is not whole. She wonders to herself, if she has to leave her lover, and if it is worth the pain; if the distance is worth it. From there, curiosity can stir, like why they need to seperate, and what is the distance separating them?
The last line, “ to wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night” ties the whole dynamic of the poem. The author shows that leaving her lover causes her pain, with the use of imagery and juxtaposition, by using an unreachable object, such as “the night” and giving it life. This use is shown throughout the poem; such as “the world beats dead”, “ridges of the wind”, and “lamps of the city prick my eyes”. She personifies objects such as wind, lamps, and the world, and turns them into significant factors of her pain. The sharp edges of the night describe how she is wounded by the city, and it’s loneliness at night. It is full of happiness and busy during the day, and quiet at night. The author is pained by the future/present separation of her lover, and expresses it with figurative language.
“The Taxi” by Amy Lowell uses many forms of figurative language that show her pain when she is separated from her lover. There are many hidden messages, uses of language, and different ideas used in this poem. It can be interpreted in many ways, but in the end, her pain is increasing, while the city gets eerier. The taxi, driving away on the road, is the separation of two people in love.