The poem, “Lights Out” by Edward Thomas describes the experience of sleep. It is an attempt to understand the mystery of sleep. Sleep is quite mysterious and magical that nobody can express it meaningfully. One can fight against hunger but nobody can fight against sleep. All humans whether straightforward creature, especially humans get benefit of sleep.
Sleep does not discriminate among the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the healthy and the sick, the young and the old, man and woman, and so on. A man pursues different jobs and continues laboring and treading the attack for the forest till dark. The forest path becomes dim all of a sudden and they sink into the oblivion of sleep. It gives its blessings to all humans. We have to leave all activities, sorrows, sufferings, despair, and troubles before it. Sleep is more delicious and soothing than the noblest deeds. (Lights Out)
Beautiful faces and interesting books are left aside and a person enters into unconsciousness alone. Sleep is an equalizing factor. It restores man’s mental equilibrium. Sleep leads to the seas of forgetfulness. It restores man’s energy. It is unavoidable whenever it comes. Everything appears unnecessary and unimportant under the spell of sleep. The poet compares sleep with deep and dense forests. He is on the verge of sleep. He feels sleepy but is unable to explain its arrival. Man has to go in this dark forest of sleep. Sleep is a temporary escape from the bitter realities of life.
Before succumbing to the lure of sleep, one feels that the dark and tall trees are getting darker and more threatening. Their dark leaves assume an awful shape. It appears as if layers of sleep are noiselessly dropping over him until they smother him. The sleeper is glad to be transported to the domain where he may lose his way and become unconscious of his surrounding.
Explanation with Reference
I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forests where all must lose
Their way, however straight
Or winding, soon or late;
They cannot choose
In the given lines, the poet relates his personal experience about sleep. He tries to understand the mysterious impact of sleep on his mind and body. He compares sleep with the immeasureable depth of sea in which he is plunging. He is overwhelmed by sleep. He finds himself in a deep forest where all the rich, the poor, the young and old, the man and woman are equally treated, they cannot escape it. Sooner or later, they are to be in the strong clutches of sleep.
Here love ends,
Despair, ambition ends;
All pleasure and all trouble,
Although most sweet or bitter,
Here ends in sleep that is sweeter
Than tasks most noble
In the given lines from the poem “Lights Out”, the poet says that all human emotions come to an end in sleep. Love, despair ambition, pleasure, trouble and bitterness disappear in the air when sleep overtakes us. Sleep is the leveler. It is sweeter than all types of pleasures and pleasures. It enables us to get rid of our memories sweet or bitter. It is far nobler than all of the noble tasks.
There is not any book
Or face of dearest look
That I would not turn from now
To go into the unknown
I must enter, and leave, alone
I know not how
In the given lines, the poet says that sleep is so charming that it diverts our attention from everything. When sleep overshadows us, every desired and undesired thing vanishes. We cannot stand before sleep. When sleep overpowers us we forget every relation. We have to discard every fascinating thing to go to some unknown place through sleep. The poet also goes to an unknown place through sleep but he does not elaborate the way. Sleep is a mysterious process. When it approaches, it overpowers the person and transport to some unknown place. Every person has to go through the process of sleep but how? We do not know. (Lights Out)