What can be more beautiful than love? More delightful to the ears than a bird chirping it?s melodious song of happiness on a Sunday morning? More heart melting than a single rose given to you by the one you adore? To be able to live and to see such beauty in life is a wonderful blessing. However, not many of us are bestowed with this gift. The majority of people are too busy or too consumed with the superficialities of life that they fail to take part in the splendor that is right in front of them. Whether it is intentional or not we are desecrating the world around us. It is a crime to be so incredibly unappreciative and unaware of the sacredness of God?s creations. The poem Solace, written by Dorothy Parker reflects the world?s apathetic attitude towards the desecration and destruction of the sacredness of all living things.
The poem begins ?There was a rose that faded young/ I saw it?s shattered beauty hung/ upon a broken stem? (1-3). This rose which was once fragrant and rich with a crimson red, has ?faded young? and hangs wilted, pale, and ugly, upon a broken stem. The rose transforms from a symbol of beauty to one of death and decay. Sadly, all but one person notices this single fallen rose: he alone appreciates the beauty of every living thing. While he is left mourning for this rose, we find that the majority of people could care less. ?What need to care/ with roses budding everywhere?? says the crowd (4-5). It?s obvious that the majority cannot appreciate the beauty that this rose once provided. If we truly believe that everything on his world is sacred, than how can we feel no condolences for a fallen beauty? Or how about a hundred fallen beauties?
How many fallen roses, trees and plants does it take to realize our apathy and failure to pay the proper respect to the living things around us?
We are currently witnessing one of the greatest desecration?s on Earth, yet only a handful of people live up to their duties as human beings and attempt to stop this destruction. Everyday hundred?s of acres are being annihilated in the rainforest. Thousand?s of exotic plants and trees are being wiped off the face of this Earth. We are on a path to self-destruction. If we continue to remain indifferent to the desecrations that scar our sacred planet, there will be not one rose left for the barren future that waits.
In the next stanza we find the same apathetic attitude reflected, only this time it
is with animal life. ?There was a bird brought down to die? (7). Again we find that something beautiful has fallen to die; no longer will this bird chirp it?s lovely song nor trace the clouds in its flight. Yet only one person notices it?s absence, while everyone else say?s ? A hundred fill the sky/what reason to be sad?? (8-9). The same apathetic attitude is reflected- people simply do not care for such ?petty? things. For if we did appreciate such beauty we would miss the bird and the pleasure it once gave us while we watched it?s glorious flight. In both stanzas Parker reveals the insensitivity of the many and the love of the few.
All over the world animals are being overexploited for their body part. N Africa elephants are being slaughtered for their tusks, in Asia tiger are being mutilated for their bones and in the United States Alligators are being murdered for their skin. We hear about these things everyday, but how many of us stop and think twice about a dead animal 3,000 miles away? In the second stanza we find that only one person feels sadness for the bird who has fallen from it?s flight-this is true for our world today. We find that only a few people hear the cries of these animals and mourn for their deaths. If nature or animal cannot move us to appreciate such beauty, will love be able to spark emotion?
In the third stanza ? there was a girl, whose lover fled? (10). It is a sad thing when love is spoiled or when our lover cannot return the love we feel for them. A girl?s broken heart is all there is to show for the couple that was once delirious with joy and happiness. Although, there is no greater shame than a love gone badly, we find that many people feel no pity for what could?ve been a great good. ?There?s many another lad,? they say (12). We fail to recognize the sacredness of love; instead we focus on the next lad to come. In the poem there is only one person who stops to sympathize and mourn for the beautiful things that once filled the air with enticing sights, sounds, smells and in this case, love.
In every aspect of life we destroy and mutilate the sacredness of things, yet due to the corrupted values, which blind our eyes, we could care less. Love has not escaped this desecration which eats away at everything beautiful. Today divorce rates are as high as fifty percent. People these days no longer respect the sacredness of love and it?s vows. It was only yesterday when divorce was unheard of. But who cares right?
It?s often times sickening when you realize how apathetic our society has become. It?s as if apathy were a disease that cripples our ability to see the beauty and sacredness of all things. Parker reflects this disease in her poem three times with three different things: a rose, a bird and a love no more. Using repetition Parker pounds this message into our heads. Even the title, Solace, plays an intricate role in her message. The roses, the birds and love, are the very things we find solace in, however, because of our apathetic and abusive attitudes these things are being taken advantage of. We all enjoy the smell of roses and the lovesongs of birds, but what about the rainforests in South America or the Elephants in Africa? If we continue to take these living things for granted, slowly yet surely, there would be nothing left to bring us solace. Take a walk outside, slow things down, and you too will notice the ?rose that has faded young.?