What does the poet mean by “forlorn group” in the poem “The Cold Within” by James Patrick Kinney? Why does he use this term?
The poet James Patrick Kinney in his poem The Cold Within refers to the group of ‘six humans’ by the expression ‘this forlorn group‘ in the first line of the penultimate stanza.
The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
‘Forlorn’ means lonely, sad and hopeless. Here all the six persons were bearing discriminatory feelings in their minds. Even in the moment of distress, when life was at stake, they could not overcome the petty barriers of class, race and religion that divided them. When they had the resources to help each other and save all lives, they chose the other way around. Though they gathered around the fire to warm themselves, they were very much divided, distant and lonely in their hearts. That is why the term “forlorn group” is apt for them.
And, this forlorn group is a symbol for the whole human race. We, people all over the world, are similarly divided on grounds of race, religion, caste, gender and ethnicity. If we don’t learn to come out of these, we are all lost.