New Year Resolutions Summary: The poem is written by Elizabeth Sewell. A positive change is the desire of all. We all make resolutions occasionally and vow never to be sinful. So, the poetess also makes resolutions on the eve of New Year. She makes three resolutions. She will remain quiet for longer periods of time. This will provide her time and she will contemplate on her character. She will remember twice daily “who she is”. And she is a human being, an image of God Almighty. But she also remembers that man is a fallen being and:
“a heap of broken images”;
therefore, she is not clean of the filth and dirt of fould desires and worldly gains. Though man is not bound to shun all the luxuries of worldly life but whatever one earns must be up to the satisfaction of one’s soul. If one’s soul and conscience are satisfied with one, there need be no worry.
Hence, she is amongst the best of creations if restored and purified. She decides to face reality which is a painful effort. She determines to be purer. She knows reality is very bitter. She knows life is very painful for a noble person. She says the pain borne by her body will earn comfort and satisfaction for her soul. The poetess conveys a moral message that we should avoid social vices and sins and bear physical pain i.e. troubles of practical life instead of conspiring with people for material gains.
Human life moves on counted with flowing number of years, the poetess has presented a realistic view of the social aspect of human day to day life. Generally man leads a dual life; one for the satisfaction of his personal needs, the true self, while another for the display to the general society. She wants us to adopt the life that is expected of a true human and not what our needs and necessities demand from us. The life of truth and sacrifice is necessary for the uplift of humankind. She refers to Bible indirectly when she demands us to “remember I am”. We of course are humans that believe in some book of revelation e.g. Bible in this case.