I Am A Rock
Paul Simon said that the person or people in his poem were sick of society, and wanted to be isolated away from society. He represents this by saying that they want to be like a rock, or like an island. They wanted to be isolated away from society.
The poem talks about people being sick of society, and want to be isolated from it. Even in the first line, he made an analogy between December being dark and dingy, by saying “A winter’s day – in a deep and dark December.” The month of December is usually likened to being cold, dark, and ‘dangerous’. He also says that it is a lonely December in the second line where he says “I am alone gazing from my window to the street below” he feels left out, and now wants to be left alone, like an island, or a rock. Like in the second poem, where he says that he “has no need of friendship.”
The person in the poem wants to be left alone, like an island, or a rock. In the second stanza, he says “I’ve built a wall, a fortress deep and mighty.” He has built a mental block to all outsiders, and he compares this to an inpenetrable wall. Inpenetrable walls keep unwanted things out: bad feelings, love, etc. Then, in the third line of this stanza, he says “I have no need of friendship – friendship causes pain, It’s laughter and loving I disdain.” He said that he doesn’t want friendship because it just causes pain, and that the laughter and loving he hates or despises. He wants to be left alone, like it says in the third stanza, “Hiding in my room, Safe within my tomb.”
He wanted to be shielded from society. In the first line of the third stanza, he says “I have my books and my poetry to protect me, I am shielded in my armour” He used the books as a type of shield, to shield him from outside things that can hurt him. All he needs are his books to keep him occupied away from society, and isolated. Just like in the last stanza, “a rock feels no pain, an island never cries.”
He wants to be like a rock, and like an island. Rocks don’t feel any pain, therefore, if he was a rock, he wouldn’t feel any pain. In the first line of the fourth stanza, it says “And a rock feels no pain, ” He wants to be like a non-feeling rock, that nothing except god himself can destroy, then he would be tough and free of his troubles. He wants to be like an island, because islands don’t have much to deal with, some islands are so isolated, that no-one even knows that they are there. This would be good to live on, to be isolated from society. He wouldn’t have anyone to be hurt by, and no one to hurt. If he was isolated, and like a rock, then he would be in good shape.
Paul Simon simply used a rock to symbolify how the person wanted to feel. “They” wanted to be isolated from society, which obviously hurt him in some way. “I am a Rock” and no one can reach me on my island, is what Paul Simon wanted to put in the minds of the listeners, in my opinion at least.