The Owl Stanza Wise Summary

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Owl Stanza Wise Summary.

Written by Philip Edward Thomas, the poem is about both fulfillment and deprivation. It also reflects the emotions of empathy and guilt. It also focuses on the fact that to lead a healthy and comfortable life, there is an undeniable necessity of three fundamental things – Food, fire and rest. Below is mentioned its stanza wise summary. I have also shared the stanza wise summary of Lochinvar and Leisure so, you can check these posts as well.

The Owl Stanza Wise Summary

Stanza – 1

“Downhill I came, hungry…………………………..thing under a roof.”

In the first stanza, the poet begins by describing his own actions and was travelling downhill which means that he has completed the effort of climbing up the hill. While coming down the hill, he was hungry but not starved. He was tired and trembling by dint of cold but his spirit was high. He was warm enough inside to protect him against the chilling north wind. He was feeling weary, tired and was badly in need of rest. In such hard times, nothing other than rest under a roof was the sweetest thing to him.

Stanza – 2

“Then at the inn…………………………..….a most melancholy cry .”

In the second stanza, the poet makes it to the ‘inn’ and took shelter. In the inn, he got immediate comfort. He got food to satisfy his hunger, fireplace to warm up him and rest which he was then in badly need of. He was able to get the things that he was lacking in the first stanza. Here, an interesting contrast is shown between the comforts provided inside the inn and the outside world. Inside the inn was so warm with all the other facilities whereas outside was cold. So, the walls of the inn ‘barred out’ the less than desirable elements of the night. However, there was one thing which penetrated the silence of the night – ‘An owl’s cry’ which is explicitly said to be “melancholy” and “no merry note”.

The Owl Stanza Wise Summary

Stanza – 3

“Shaken out long………………………..that night, as in I went.”

While the poet recuperates with food, warmth and rest, he suddenly hears the owl’s cry which is long and sad. The plaintive cry of the owl reminded him of the sufferings he had undergone when he was on the hills and brings him back to the world. It was a bittersweet reminder for him. He was quite fortunate to escape the suffering on the hill however, there were many soldiers who were fighting with the stings of hunger and were suffering from the bites of cold. The poor were also included who had to court exposure and uncertainty on such a night. This reveals the poet’s conscience and humanity and he felt sorry for those who could not escape the miserable condition.

Stanza – 4

“And salted was my food………………………poor, unable to rejoice.”

Overwhelmed by such penetrating thoughts, the poet found the food and the rest less pleasing. Suddenly his food seems “salted” which signifies tears and he loses his interest in relaxation. The bird’s voice turned the whole atmosphere bitter and made him sad. The poet’s heart went out to the soldiers and poor who are deprived of the basic needs of life and are unable to rejoice. So, the bird’s cry speaks for all those who lay under the stars and are unable to rejoice.

On the other hand, the bird’s cry is also a symbol of beauty and life. No matter how many people have died in a war, the owl will always cry out and it signals the comfort that life will go on and the world will still exist, no matter how bleak things may seem.  

So, this was The Owl Stanza Wise Summary.