“I Find No Peace,” by Sir Thomas Wyatt, expresses the glorious and terrifying contradictions of being in love. Below, you’ll find a part of an analysis of the poem.
This post includes a breakdown of the stanzas, an insight into the speaker + voice of the poem, as well as an exploration of the themes and deeper meanings. It’s only a quick overview to help you get to grips with the poem – you can access a full in-depth breakdown of the poem on the links below.
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- Arise – rise up
- Nought – nothing
- Loseth – loses
- Locketh – locks
- Holdeth – holds
- Scape – escape
- Letteth – lets
- Giveth – gives
- Sorrow – sadness
- Displeaseth – upsets / displeases
I find no peace, and all my fighting against it is done. Instead, I feel hope and fear at the same time, I burn and freeze like ice. Then, I fly above the wind, but I still feel like I can’t rise up against this feeling. I don’t have anything, and I feel like I need to capture the whole world. This feeling makes me feel like I can’t lose, or be locked shut – and yet it holds me in prison because I’m trapped by it. It doesn’t physically hold me, but mentally I can’t escape, it won’t let me have control over my own life or death, and yet it seems to give me a reason to die because it’s such a painful state of suffering. I see without eyes, and I complain without my tongue. Even though I wish to die, I still ask for health. I love someone, and therefore I hate myself. I feed myself with sadness and laugh in all of my pain; life and death are both equally displeasing to me, and my joy – the love I feel – is the cause of all this stress.
The speaker in the poem is in the throes of love, so he is overcome by an extremely powerful feeling. He strongly pines for his lover, but for some reason they cannot be together – 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 are here twisted into agony and stress, because of the lack of union.
Thanks for reading! If you’re studying this particular poem, you can buy our detailed study guide here.
- Story + Summary
- Speaker + Voice
- Language Feature Analysis
- Form and Structure Analysis
- Attitudes + Messages
- Themes + Deeper Ideas
- Key Quotations
- Extra tasks to complete by yourself