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The Girl

Symbol Analysis

Ah yes, the girl. Isn't it always about a girl? In this case, she's more of a green gypsy girl, but she still becomes a powerful symbol in "Romance Sonambulo." She functions in much the same way as the color green does, although she embodies the concept of desire in a much more specific way. Like many women in poetry, she's the symbol of conventional romantic love, but she's more than that, too. She's green. She's She-Hulk! No, wait. She's just a green girl who is colored by the speaker's desire. She's the object of his affection and seems to have an unshakable effect on him, and the poem generally.

  • Line 6: The girl dreams on her balcony. First off, she's unreachable for our poor speaker. His desire is undaunted, though. Secondly, her dreams are appropriate for the dream-like imagery in this poem. It seems that the poem itself might take its cues from her behavior.
  • Lines 11-12: In these lines, it's as if the girl is the object of the world's affections, not just the speaker's. The speaker's desire keeps over-spilling its banks and affects the rest of the world. Like the actual, abstract color green, though, "she cannot see them" that desire her. This desire, much like it is for the speaker, is a one-way street (to Heartbreakville—bummer).
  • Lines 22-24: The girl is still on her balcony, but also "dreaming in the bitter sea." While the sea is also green, which only adds to her Hulky color, the "bitter" nature of the sea leads us to think that the girl's dreams aren't really all that sweet. Maybe this relationship is doomed to a bad end…
  • Lines 26-28: In these lines, it's not the girl, but her possessions that are important to the speaker. Her house, mirror, and blanket all reflect a kind of peaceful, domestic tranquility that the speaker seems to long for, but just can't get his hands on.
  • Lines 67-70: On their climb, the speaker's friend wants to know where this girl is. Don't worry, though, she's always been there, and always will be. Where is "there" exactly? Why, she's just out of reach on her balcony. Great. So, she's permanently around, but also permanently unavailable. Should this cheer our speaker up?
  • Lines 73-76: Now the girl is swinging over a cistern. We're not sure quite why, but it seems both fun, and dangerous. We get the sense that this girl is filled with wild abandon, embracing the joy of life, which seems to endear her even more to the speaker.
  • Lines 77-78: Now she's hanging from "an icicle of moon." Talk about a cool trick. We definitely couldn't pull that off, even if we wanted to. We notice again how far away from the speaker this makes the girl seem. She's hanging from the moon for Pete's sake. In this way, she's definitely untouchable. But she's also in a delicate, precarious, and supernatural position. We wonder if that icicle might break, and how she may have gotten up there in the first place. Maybe her dreaming on the balcony helped.

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