Famous Quotes explained: « One person is missing, and everything is depopulated. » Méditations poétiques, « L’Isolement », Lamartine, 1820. (Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé.)
This famous quote by Lamartine is from verse 28 of his poem « L’Isolement ». In this long poem, Lamartine, alone, facing nature, poses, as in other of his works, the figure of the romantic character: solitary in an era in which he feels a stranger.
Here, in addition, his elegiac lyricism develops through the melancholy and sadness of the loss of his lover Julie Charles in 1817, who died of tuberculosis. He regrets her absence. The poem then constitutes a moment of reflection in a sublime nature that should provoke emotions in him, but finally leaves him insensitive to the pain of his loss.
That’s why he expresses in this verse the difficulty of finding oneself aware of the world, free to open one’s heart to something else than sadness when one person is missing. Evidently, this person is an important person, whose absence in mourning is still felt.
Therefore, one person is missing, and everything is depopulated expresses infinite loneliness, the desert lived when this dear person disappears from our lives. Everything is depopulated in a hyperbolic way emphasizes that the company of people, of nature, maybe even of God can no longer reach us. Loneliness envelops the body and soul so much the loss is immense.
One person is missing, and everything is depopulated. (Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé.)
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