Summary and Analysis: Calamus Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes


The poet declares that the flames within burn him more than actual heat, and that his consuming passion "for his love whom I love" is quicker than air and tide. His soul, "borne through the open air," is irresistibly drawn to his friend.

The imagery here — of "sea-waves," the "delicious and dry" air, the "tide . . . seeking something," the "rain-emitting clouds" — is sexually expressive. The poet feels that his love is as irresistible and mystical as are the forces of nature. The self of the poet is shown floating on the open air and this image suggests the mystical merger of man's soul with the Divine Soul. Calamus love thus finally develops into a mystical union.