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Analysis

Green

Symbol Analysis

Despite what Kermit had to say about it, the speaker of "Romance Sonambulo" is a big fan of green. He sees it everywhere, and always seems to be longing for it. The speaker is so intent on this color, in fact, that it becomes a powerful symbol of desire itself. Everything that's green in this poem is an object of the speaker's attraction, which also means that the speaker won't be attaining it any time soon. Green is both a sign of the speaker's longing, as well as a sign that this longing will not be fulfilled.

  • Lines 1-2: Right from the get-go, the speaker clues us in on his attraction to green. What's more, he's seeing green in lots of places, like the branches of trees. Heck, even the wind is green. It's as if the speaker is so in love that he sees this green in everything around him. In this way, the whole world becomes the object of his desire.
  • Line 7: This "she" that the speaker mentions is also green in color. At least, her hair and flesh are. The speaker's love for green as an abstract color, or as part of the whole world, is now made more specific in the actual figure of this green girl.
  • Line 9: Here we get a refrain of line 1. Now, though, later in the poem, we see this as a declaration of the speaker's love for the girl more specifically.
  • Line 13: Another refrain. Heading into the second section, the speaker reminds us of his love of green, as if we'd forget. Sheesh—this guy must really be in love.
  • Lines 17-20: Although there's no mention specifically of green in these lines, the big leaves of a fig tree, and the image of a "bristl[ing]" forest bring the color of green to mind even still. Yeah, we're not gonna be talking about, say, blue anytime soon.
  • Line 50: So not only is the girl (who is the object of the speaker's affection) green, but so is the balcony that holds her. It seems like the speaker's desire is just spilling over, and everything gets colored green that is touched by his affection. Now he wants to reach those green balconies, too.
  • Lines 61-62: Another refrain to start the fourth section. The speaker feels the need to remind us of the importance of green to him, before he can begin any major part of the poem. His desire, again, is called to mind.
  • Line 66: Here's another example of green that's not mentioned outright. Still, go out and get some mint, some basil, and (we know, it's gross) some bile. What do they have in common? It's a certain color that you might be familiar with by now, and rhymes with "shmreen." Here, the speaker, in the pursuit of those green balconies, tastes these various green elements of life (sweetness, bitterness, um… savory-ness) as he goes after the objects of his desire.
  • Line 72: The speaker reminds us that the girl is on a green balcony. It seems that he's getting nearer to her, and so to fulfilling his desire. Hurray?
  • Line 76: The gypsy girl, all green and desirable, swings above the speaker's head, still just out of reach.
  • Lines 83-84: In this final refrain, the speaker ends the poem the way he began it. He's still not attained the green objects of his affection. Should we pity him? Or, in his pursuits, has he embraced a fundamental aspect of life?
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