“All You Who Sleep Tonight” is a collection of poems written by Vikram Seth which was written in the year 1990. The poems by Vikram Seth are often considered as a reference to how to write poetry.
“All You Who Sleep Tonight” is written in very simple and lucid language that is easily understandable. The poem is profound, amazing and poignant in tone which comes along with a universal message. This poem renders a message which connects with the reader stating that no one is alone in the journey of life and there are many invisible factors protecting, loving, guiding and taking care of us.
The poem is about those who are far away from their loved ones. Vikram Seth sympathizes with the lonely feeling of those who are living alone away from their loved ones at a different places and surroundings.
Life is easy and happier when one stays with those who loves and cares for them. A person feels more contented living with his loved ones or at a place where he is born and brought up. That place is considered as his comfort zone. But the law of nature is different. Change is a part of it. One cannot stay forever with his loved ones or in their comfort zones, at times one has to leave your comfort zone either forever or for some day.
Now the poet is speaks about those who are far away from their comfort zone. These people are sad and solitary because either they are not in a known place or they are far from their loved ones. The poet sympathizes with them and asks them not to feel lonely and consider themselves alone. He says that the entire world is by their side and shares their pain and sorrows. Therefore, they are not the only one suffering from separation. There are many who are out there experiencing the same situation of life. Separation is a part of life and it also teaches us to be strong and self-sufficient.
The poet in his next stanza goes on to say that there is a saying that when a person dies, they take the form of star. That is why the poet is asking the person not to feel alone and insecure because when the person feels that way, they should look up at the stars to ensure that they are not alone.The person they are missing is right there watching them from above. Finally, when you realize the person you are missing is near you, you feel a lot better and you are able to sleep properly.
We cannot sleep until and unless our minds are at peace and we have peace within ourselves. When a reader reads this poem, he can realize that he is not alone but with millions of stars above sharing his pain and loneliness.
This poem consists of only two stanzas each having four lines. The first line rhymes with the third and the second with the fourth. The poem acts as a sedative to the souls who are unable to sleep soundly because of their lonely heart and the poem helps in creating inner peace.