Love is a universal concept that has survived through the ages. With time, though, it also has become more complicated. Although, the concept of love becomes more complex, the story remains the same. In the poem, “Parting, Without a Sequel,” by John Crowe Ransom, the story of love is almost over, and the reader becomes a part of it at the end of the affair.
The poem begins with a woman finishing a letter, “with characters venomous and hatefully curved,” to be mailed to the man she once loved. This letter, assumed by the reader that its purpose is to break off the relationship, gives the woman a sense of power and relief when it is completed. Although, as soon as she hands it “to the blue-capped functioner of doom,” she begins to regret what she has done and hopes her love will never see the letter. Upset and woeful, she goes to her father for comfort. Still regretting what she had done, she watches the postman bike away, carrying her future within his hands.
This poem shows an honest look at the truest emotions of people. Almost everyone has experienced the story within this poem; saying something during a time of pure hatred towards another that they will most surely regret in the future. They know that their feelings must be heard, but do it in a most inappropriate way. The woman, in a fit of rage wrote a letter to a soon to be ex-lover. She knew her mistake of writing such a harsh letter, but there was nothing she could do after she gave it to the postman, other than go to her father.
Ransom refers to the father as a “vaunting oak” to show that he is a steadfast and wise father. The daughter knows she can depend on him for the support she needs during this time of her life, and he gives it to her. He was quiet during his daughter’s relationship, but now that she has come to him, he finally can speak and tell her what he feels. Rubbing his old dried up hands, “rasped his sere leaves,” he relates his disappointment to her.
Ransom uses the symbols of an oak to represent the father whose emotions never change; he remains stoic through the good and bad times of life, much like an oak could be thought of. An oak is seen as an object that is strong, wise, and everlasting. He remains there for whomever needs him; always willing to listen and give his advice. His daughter, in contrast, goes through many emotions, just within the poem. In the beginning, she shows hate and bitterness towards her lover then in the end it transforms into regret for writing such an awful letter.
The rain that is mention twice in the poem could symbolize the relationship the daughter had with her lover. The father remained “stoical in the rain” and when “the agitation of the rain/ Rasped his sere leaves,” did he finally speak to his daughter. Clam and cool, he shows her that he loves her, even if it cannot replace the love she once had from another.
Love is a concept that will never die. Thought the characters in the story might change, it will go on forever. People will be hurt by is, but they will survive and move on. It will leave a lesson behind, show one the mistakes not to make again. Loosing love hurts, especially if you do it in all the wrong ways, but one will survive, especially if the have someone to support and comfort them, like the daughter had her father.