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What Does The Phrase "Drowns The Tender Reed" Mean?

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charmaine saunders Profile
This phrase comes from the Bette Midler song, `The rose.'
The song speaks about love, being vulnerable, how we find love etc. This line about drowning the tender reed is just a lyrical, metaphorical way of describing how sensitive we become when we give ourselves in love. The `tender reed' is the tender heart and it can be drowned by hurt, betrayal, rejection, or any of the other painful experiences that might happen when you open your heart to someone. In the literal sense, a reed in the water can be covered over and be flattened and end up dying. So, it's an interesting analogy for a sensitive soul being crushed by something hurtful done by a less caring partner. This whole song is very poetic and touching, especially another line, `Love is for the lucky and the strong.' Is it? I wonder if it's possible to love without risking it all, even being hurt or `drowned' as the song suggests.
Yooti Bhansali Profile
Yooti Bhansali answered
In the song 'The Rose', the lyrics commence by portraying love in the form of a 'river that drowns.' Love, in this case, is violent and unapproachable. It devastates the 'tender reed.' The 'reed', here, symbolizes the human being who does not have the power to stand up against the overpowering influence that love possesses.

In the succeeding metaphor, love is described as a 'razor that leaves your soul to bleed.' In this case, love is the cause of pain and anguish. Love appears to leave its victim weak and vulnerable, with a 'bleeding soul.' In both the primary and secondary lines of this first stanza, love is shown as something that is not actually inside the person, but something that takes action on the person.

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