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Poems are one of the deepest expressions of humans’ inner vision and feelings, this fact sets poetry as one of the most thought provoking literary genres. An instance of this is a great poem called “Thanks” by William Stanley Merwin a poet from the twenty century. The makes the reader particularly wander around the real conception of gratefulness. Moreover, this poem contains a strong imagery that provokes in the reader a varied set of strong emotions. In the poem the speaker uses the word “thank” thirteen times.
The over use of the word makes the reader understand that the persona is underestimating the expression “thank you”. However, the reader is included in the description because the persona always uses the pronoun “we” to lead the statement “we are saying thank you”. Likewise, since the beginning the speaker starts using the word as a cliche, expressed by everyone but in a hollow way. The gratefulness is represented by shallow words rather than by an honest attitude. Even though in the poem the word denotes an expression of kindness and politeness, it appears lacked of meaning.
It seems that everyone knows the importance of the word but at the same time the word is used carelessly, this idea is very clear in the last two verses, “we are saying thank you and waving / dark though it is”. Thus, the reader can feel a sort of irony and perceive the persona’s critical tone in the use and misuse of the word “thanks”. As a reader I could behold carefully the importance of the word “thanks” not just as a response to people’s actions but also as a pure expression of human gratitude.
Individuals must grasp the real meaning of the expression in order to respond honestly to someone’s else actions whether they are good or bad. Moreover, I feel disappointment at the moment of reading it because our sloppy way of visualizing life and its little details, responds to the current situation of society. It seems that misconceptions has gone to our core without knowing the real transcendence of words. However, I keep the hope of getting rid of this simplicity that society has taught me regarding the use of words, and develop my sensitivity to the inner connection between my tongue and heart.
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