Wyatt's My Galley Charged with Forgetfulness relies heavily on metaphor and imagery. Through intimation of such literary devices, as well as language and tone, Wyatts suggests, through the metaphor of the galley's course, that life is meant to run an intentioned course with purpose. Through the course of the poem unfolds a strong sense of despair in the realization that such purpose is lost; it is not there. The poem is laden with tones of desolation. In the beginning there are images painting toil and frustration "thorough sharp seas in winter nights." However, there comes a realization that this is not the cause of the speaker's dejection. The impressions of loss and misery are not due to the experience of suffering, but rather that the suffering experienced has no meaning or purpose. At the end of the poem are the strongest portrayals of frustration and unhappiness, as the speaker concludes that there is no way out of this predicament. He is as trapped by this fate as a man is trapped when lost out in the middle of the sea. The words "the stars be hid" also sounds as if the reasons are actively concealed him his knowledge by device, and reveals a voice of aggravation and disappointment.
Throughout the poem there is a theme of inescapable fate reinforced by the metaphor of the galley at sea. The metaphor of the ship's lord being the master of the speaker and decider of fate gives the speaker an object toward which to project his sorrow. There are multiple points where the speaker blames this problem he has on the lord of his galley, that he
Hath done the wearied cords great hindrance,
Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance.
This lord depicted is cruel, is incompetent, and has ruined the cords of the ship as well as the course of the speaker's life. The idea is that the speaker feels things are not the way they are supposed to be. As the cords of a ship control the sails, the cords that tie the speaker's life together are strained and coming apart from the traveling. While he does not like how or where his life is going, he has no say in this matter. The metaphor is enforced with language suggesting that he has been robbed of something that belonged to him, or that he has suffered a loss and is grieving. There is a heavy sense of bereavement. The lack of consolation also comes in that the reason for suffering is lost to him because "Drowned is reason that should me consort." The word "consort" also verbalizes a sense that in having no accompaniment,...