Analysis of “Head, Heart” Lydia Davis’s poem “Head, Heart” chronicles a short, yet meaningful interaction between the entities Head and Heart. Head and Heart have recently suffered an immense loss and feel great distress. In this time of great sorrow, it is Head’s duty to act as consoler to Heart, to comfort Heart in its moment of despair. Davis portrays the entities Head and Heart in such a way that allows the audience to connect with the characters in a manner that allows the reader’s own head and heart to take the place of the characters and feel as they feel. Throughout “Head, Heart,” Lydia Davis induces a great sense of empathy in the reader, causing them to reflect on their own life as they recall similar, personal interactions between Head and Heart. At first glance, “Head, Heart” appears as a simple ten lines of free verse, with no rhythm or syllabic structure to note. However, on closer examination, the reader may discover that every other line ends with the word “Heart:”
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart. (7-10)
This subtle repetition may easily go unnoticed, yet it still subconsciously plants the idea of Heart as the greater of the two entities. While Head plays an important role in the relationship of the two constructs, its primary function remains to care for Heart so that Heart may return to a natural state and function in a manner benefitting both. The repetition of “Heart” as the…