Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

Indeed, Indeed I Cannot Tell - Poem by Henry David Thoreau

Indeed indeed, I cannot tell,
Though I ponder on it well,
Which were easier to state,
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Comments about Indeed, Indeed I Cannot Tell by Henry David Thoreau

  • Robert Murray Smith (6/13/2017 1:56:00 PM)

    The duality of love and hate is brought out in this fine poem. (Report) Reply

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  • (10/7/2014 9:01:00 PM)

    Thoreau was a better writer of prose than of poetry. However, overall, he is one my most admired writers of all time. What I like much better than his poetry is a book of excerpts from his journal, rewritten in lines and preseted as found poetry: All Nature Is My Bride. If had simply written such poetry in his lifetime, he would have beaten Whitman at his own game. Thoreau's prose is very poetic, even the impromptu writings in his journals, from which these found poems are taken. What a master writer he was. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2014 5:41:00 PM)

    Mixed feelings of love and hate, I can relate to your feeling within this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2014 5:39:00 PM)

    Strong mixed feels between love and hate, I can relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading. Excellent. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2014 12:37:00 PM)

    I'm thinking his wife must have hogged the covers on that previous eve.... Quite a distillation of feelings in whatever relationship he pondered here..... Pleasantly presented in somewhat steady meter and the humor in his heart appears very loudly to me. I suspect Henry had a grand time divining this one. (Report) Reply

  • Floyd Biggie Hwende (10/7/2014 11:14:00 AM)

    i liked this one it says some thing. and it is really a dilema met by most hearts. check some of my poems (Report) Reply

  • Soulful Heart (10/7/2014 8:14:00 AM)

    the dilema of a human heart.....the tragedy of loving a person inspite of being hurt the most by the same individual....hatred and love two sides of the same coin....u hatred and love are usually directly proportional...all these themes in one poem..... (Report) Reply

  • Sagnik Chakraborty (10/7/2014 2:34:00 AM)

    Extreme love mixed with extreme hatred; the bipolar aspect of a stormy relation beautifully expressed through sublime verse. (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (10/7/2014 1:20:00 AM)

    Surely, surely, thou wilt trust me
    When I say thou dost disgust me.

    No trust does not enter into this equation, hating to the point of annihilating, does not equate to sometimes against my will, / My dear friend, I love thee still. This is more than being of two minds, split personality cannot calm such volatile waters, such an on going love hate relationship of such intensity, would ultimately lead to the hate annihilating persona killing the beloved hated friend in one of the explosive hate cycles; thus killing the one loved, conflict solved in explosive emotive action.
    (Report) Reply

  • Queeny Gona (10/7/2013 7:37:00 AM)

    Treason to love
    A sin to God

    Inevitable to love
    Against the will of protagonists

    Superb read......
    (Report) Reply

  • Manohar Bhatia (10/7/2013 7:28:00 AM)

    The poet ponders that even if his love betrays him, he will still love her, rather indulge in pure impartial hate. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (10/7/2012 11:03:00 AM)

    How can his hate for one person be impartial. An impartial hate would be given equally to two or more people. You cannot be impartial towards one person. (Report) Reply

  • Samantha Wilson (1/18/2012 9:31:00 PM)

    the perfect thing to make my birth seem like a good thing (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (10/7/2011 10:51:00 AM)

    A practical fact of life well said in this poem! (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2011 10:28:00 AM)

    that nice i love that poem (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2009 7:58:00 PM)

    All I have to say is that I have a friend whose face I sometimes wish to punch in.
    'Indeed, I cannot tell', but I can relate.
    Good poem!
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2009 4:14:00 PM)

    This poem is easy to understand. It is not philosophy, it is not split personality.It is simple honesty. There is some people in our life that we love and hate, for a reason that they can be very charming at times and very annoying at other times, you can not live with them, nor live with out them (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2009 12:54:00 PM)

    greatt poem [[: [[; [[; (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2009 12:28:00 PM)

    'Indeed, Indeed I Cannot Tell'-
    Ambivalence expressed so well.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2009 10:04:00 AM)

    Is the poet Thoreau writing here as a poet or as the philosopher he so clearly was in such works as his renowned WALDEN? Was he using the literary device of a split persona in 'Indeed I Cannot Tell' to express his own doubts as to his various positions and stances - sometimes for /sometimes against // love vs hate? Does this poem of 14 lines indicate his struggle with doubt? How does one possess strongly held convictions without becoming a fanatic in the process? Was Thoreau like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn in his discovery that the runaway slave was a human being like himself and should not be a slave at all?

    I find the questions the speaker (the persona in the poem!) puts forth as typical of a divided personality, one who cannot find ground to stand on in the shifting winds of his own doubt. Indeed, self-loathing is often the result of such an interior struggle as anyone who has experienced such severe self-doubt can testify to. The 'loved one' that Straw posits is most likely that other self that can so irritate and annoy! How could I have been so blind? the victim cries silently in his anguish. But then again, if I was correct that first time, then what? And so on back and forth, until one cries for release! Am I 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice'? Am I my own DNA? Which has the rights when all is said and done?

    I am suggesting that both Thoreau and Twain (and other serious writers!) were always struggling with such doubts!
    (Report) Reply

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