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Quotes

Quote #7

Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away. (13-14)

Nothing sums up the speaker's feelings of dissatisfaction like these two lines—-which is exactly as it should be, because they are the last two lines of the poem. By veering between the metaphorical extremes of overeating and starvation, the speaker makes satisfaction an impossibility and dissatisfaction a guarantee. Also, because these lines are essentially a rehash of ideas already expressed several times in the poem (beginning in line 5), you could also say that it's kind of a dissatisfying ending to the poem. But then again, isn't it somehow appropriate to end a poem about dissatisfaction on a dissatisfying note? And does recognizing the appropriateness make it somehow satisfying? Beats us—but you can be our guest to ponder such questions.

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