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Themes in Remember

Themes Examples in Remember:

Text of the Poem

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"forget me for a while..."   (Text of the Poem)

The poem is a Petrarchan sonnet with an unusual rhyme scheme in the sestet—the final six lines. These lines follow a CDDECE rhyme scheme, the purpose of which is to create a four-line separation between the two C-rhyme lines. This separation imitates the experience of forgetting someone and then remembering them again after a period of time. This link between form and theme is underscored by the language of the first C-rhyme line: “Yet if you should forget me for a while.” Appropriately, the reader is then forced to forget that line for a unusually long spell.

"remember and be sad...."   (Text of the Poem)

The speaker distinguishes between grief and remembrance in presenting the audience with these two ways of remembering the dead. She wants her audience to remember her as she was when she was alive; she does not want her audience to grieve her passing and be sad over his loss. The final couplet of this poem delivers the message: remember me, but do not grieve.

"remember..."   (Text of the Poem)

While at the beginning of the poem the imperative “Remember” acts as a command, the second half sees the verb “remember” become a more passive action. The speaker’s audience remembers the speaker by chance and experiences grief or guilt by briefly forgetting the deceased. The subtle change in what the speaker means by “remember” over the course of the poem shows the distinction between these two types of remembrance: intentionally remembering someone to preserve their memory, and passively remembering someone in a way that invokes grief over one’s own loss.

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