I Find No Peace by Sir Thomas Wyatt is a love poem, where the speaker is overcome by an extremely powerful feeling that he strongly feels about another person, and for some reason, they cannot be together. However, it is unclear whether his beloved does not feel the same, or whether society itself would disapprove of the relationship. Either way, the pure, positive feelings of true love here are twisted into agony and stress, because of the lack of union.

The poem shows how being in love is both delightful and unfortunate. Here, love is both painful and enjoyable, ugly and beautiful, and gives and takes away life. In short, the poem shows that love isn’t just one feeling but a never-ending ride of strong, often conflicting emotions.

Love has turned the speaker’s world upside down, making him feel both happy and sad, loving and hating, trapped and free simultaneously. Even though he doesn’t have a “war” to fight, the speaker can’t find peace. So, he and his lover aren’t fighting right now, but he still feels like they are. “Burns” and “freezes like ice” are both ways to describe how he feels. He’s scared, but he’s also hopeful. He feels like he’s “above the wind,” but he’s also trapped.

Read the full poem below:

I Find No Peace by Sir Thomas Wyatt

I find no peace, and all my war is done.

I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.

I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;

And nought I have, and all the world I seize on.

That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison

And holdeth me not—yet can I scape no wise—

Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,

And yet of death it giveth me occasion.

Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain.

I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.

I love another, and thus I hate myself.

I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;

Likewise displeaseth me both life and death,

And my delight is causer of this strife.


‘Neutral Tones’ by Thomas Hardy

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