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Compare the ways poets have written about love, bringing out different aspects of the theme

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  • Category: Love

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After reading a substantial number of poems by different poets concerned with love, we can categorise them in their different themes as above. I have chosen 5 of the poems to evaluate and they are as follows: ‘The Voice’ by Thomas Hardy is about a man who has lost his love and we are led to believe from the text she has died as “now you are not as you were ” and “can it be you that I hear ” implying it would impossible under normal circumstances to hear her calling to him. Even more evidence is the line “You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness, Heard no more again far or near.

‘The Voice’ in my opinion is a sad poem of obsessive love, where the poet can hear his beloved in the wind and how he misses her and wishes she was still with him. Although he is aware that voice he hears may be a figment of his imagination, it also comforts him allowing him to recall happier times when she was alive. The man also says in the last quatrain that “Leaves around me falling” which is trying to tell us that autumn has come and everything is dying. This is a reference to his lost love.

The rhyme scheme of ‘The Voice’ is the first and third lines rhyme, and the second and fourth lines rhyme (AB, AB, CD, CD, EF, EF). This rhyme scheme shows that it has a definite structure so therefore it is a conventional poem. Although the essence of the poem is different to the other poems there are some similarities in the way the poem is constructed. For instance the rhyme scheme in this poem is very similar to ‘The Beggar Woman’ and ‘Neutral Tones’, as they are also what we call conventional poems as they follow a regular rhyme pattern.

This poem is very similar to ‘Neutral Tones’ in theme as they are both about loves that have been lost, one is lost to death and the other is lost to another man. In my opinion there is no similarity between ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Lowest Trees Have Tops, the Ant her Gall’ they are completely different in structure and tone. ‘The Lowest Trees Have Tops, the Ant her Gall’ is looking at love itself and how everything can love something where as ‘The Voice’ is trying to show you how much pain love can cause. There are no similarities with the rhyme scheme either, with the poems coming under different love categories altogether.

The poem ‘The Despairing Lover’ is also totally different to ‘The Voice’. ‘The Voice’ takes a serious look at love, whereas ‘The Despairing Lover’, is light hearted and not serious at all, it is almost a singsong style poem, it has an optimistic and sensible attitude which gives the reader a sense of amusement rather than sense of feeling sorry for the character. ‘The Despairing Lover’ is as I have already stated a light-hearted poem about a man thinking of committing suicide. This poem was written by William Walsh (1663-1708) and comes under the category of unrequited love.

The man in this poem is called Damon and he loves a woman called Phyllis but she does not feel the same way about him and seems to have rejected him. Damon feels like “… nothing could move her” out from his head so he thinks it would be best to take “… a leap from above” because this “Would soon finish his woes. ” When Damon gets to the edge of a cliff to commit suicide he realizes how “The sides did appear” so steep “And the bottom how deep” so he reconsiders. He finally realizes that there are many more fish in the sea and he will find another love, “A new love may get. Damon thinks that it would be stupid to commit suicide and die when he could live a happy life if tried to forget about her even if “The torment might grow. ”

“But bold, unconcern’d” Damon returns home to his cottage again. The rhyme scheme for this poem changes from verse to verse and so it does not follow a strict pattern. Although much of the poem rhymes it tends to be haphazard with the first verse lines one and two, three and four, six and seven, eight and ten, and finally nine and eleven rhyming. The second and third verses follow different patterns each one unique to that particular verse.

The Despairing Lover’ is similar to ‘Neutral Tones’ because the theme is very similar as both are about lost loves, whereas ‘The Beggar Woman’ is only similar in structure flowing well and keeping a regular rhyme pattern, it also uses humour although the context is of a different type of love. ‘The Voice’ is also of a similar theme to this poem, but this poem is not as remorseful, being more in the style of a song. This makes the poem easier to read as it flows using rhyming couplets to enhance the style, it is also similar in size. Neutral Tones was written by Thomas Hardy in 1867 and comes under the unrequited love category.

The poem is about a man who is in love with a woman but she doesn’t love him hence the reason it is unrequited love. The first quatrain is just telling the reader what it was like on a certain day in winter, “And a few leaves lay on the starving sod. ” “Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove” this part of the poem is the writer expressing is feelings, how he knew she was not looking at him with the same intimacy and he was with her. “And some words played between us to and fro” this also implies that she is not making good conversation but is distracted and not taking much notice of what he has to say.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing” she obviously was insincere when she smiled, he knew it was from politeness rather than true feelings. “Since then, keen lessons that love deceives, And wrings with wrong, have shaped me. ” He is aware that although his feeling are true, hers are not and the love is doomed to be one sided, although he loves her dearly he will always someone from the past as far as she is concerned, as in the line “Your face, and the god -curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with greyish leaves. ”

This is how he will remember her. This poem, just like the beggar woman is a conventional poem as lines one and two rhyme, three and four and so on this show the poem is composed of rhyming couplets. ‘Neutral Tones’ is a very similar poem to ‘The Despairing Lover’ as they both come under the category of unrequited love, but the mood and tone are very different. One is light-hearted the other is depressing and serious. The rhyme scheme for the two poems is very similar to ‘The Beggar Woman’ as the poem’s rhyme schemes stay constant throughout the poems.

The Beggar Woman’ also has a simile, which is unlike any other poems except for ‘Neutral Tones’, which also contains a simile. ‘The Beggar woman’ is a poem of physical love written by William King (1663-1712). This poem is about when “A gentleman in hunting rode astray” to meet “A beggar by trade; yet not so mean. ” The gentleman asks the woman if she would like to “Retire a little way into the wood? ” and she accepts the offer. The man rides on in front as the beggar woman “… trots behind. ” The man often asked her to take off her clothes but she was afraid that someone would come and find them.

The woman tells the man of “… an unfrequented place” where they can go and there is grass there for his horse. When they get there and the horse is secure the man asks her to sit but she makes an excuse, “Sitting’s not usual in my trade” which makes reference that she is a prostitute. She also makes more excuses why not to throw her down as “I might perhaps break more backs than my own” she is saying that he will break the baby’s back. The gentleman tells her to put it to one side but she makes another excuse because she says that it will cry.

She also says that it can’t go on her back or her breasts because it would cry. The gentleman then comes up with the idea that if “… the child was tied to me” it would stop it from crying. The woman accepts the idea and so she takes the baby of her back and ties it on to the gentleman’s back very quickly and before the man knew what is happening the woman was going and she said “Sir, good bye; ben’t angry that we part, I trust the child to you with all my heart; But, ere you get another, ‘ten’t amiss To try a year or two how you’ll keep this.

The woman has told him that she trusts the child with him and that before he tries to get intimate again think what might happen. If there is a moral to this poem that the writer is trying to get across then it is, think of the consequences. The rhyme scheme of this poem is a conventional rhyme scheme, as it is constant throughout containing rhyming couplets. The writer has constructed the poem in this way, as it is easier to read and enables the poem to flow and reflects our amusement as the man gets what he deserves.

This poem is clever in its construction; it is clearly different to all the poems I have analysed, as it has no reference to romantic feelings, or comparisons of feelings to the surroundings or events as they happen. It is purely a story written in a humorous way with a twist at the end, which gives the reader a feeling of elation at the misfortune, which the gentleman thoroughly deserves. The only other poem, which has a similar reaction for the reader, would be ‘The Despairing Lover’ which has also a twist at the end and could be considered quite humorous.

This poem is also the longest poem with the style of construction different to all of the others. ‘The Lowest Trees Have Tops, the ant her Gall’ is a poem written by Sir Edward Dyer (1558-1603) and comes under the category of Romantic love as the writer is trying to express what they feel love is in a romantic way. The title of the poem is telling us that all the living things have something special about them, for example “the Ant her Gall. ” The poem’s first two lines go on telling us things that different creatures have like “the little spark her heat.

The third and fourth lines tell the reader that all things have something different even if that thing is not very big and not to underestimate small things because “… bees have stings, although they be not great. ” The last two lines on the first verse say “Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs: And love is love, in beggars and in kings. ” This tells us that whether you are big or small, beggar or king you can love someone just as much as somebody else.

The second verse of the poem begins with “Where waters run smooth, there deepest are the fords. ” The writer is trying to tell us that in his opinion true love runs smooth. He also tells us that he thinks love is never-ending, “The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move. ” “The firmest faith is found in fewest words; The turtles do not sing, and yet they love. ” This sentence is trying to tell you that you don’t have to say anything to the one you love because they will know.

The last two lines say that “True hearts have ears and eyes, no tongues to speak: They hear and see, and sigh and break. ” Implying that if you love someone then you will look and listen but not always speak and that hearts hear, see, sigh and break because of love. This poem’s rhyme scheme is slightly different to a conventional rhyme scheme as only four lines rhyme in the first verse (first and third, and fifth and sixth) and none of the lines rhyme in the last verse, but the endings of the words match, e. g. Heat and great, and speak and break.

The first verse has ten syllables per line like a sonnet except for line 2 and so does the last verse except for line 7. This poem is the only one that uses metaphors to relate the essence of the poem, which is love can be experienced by anyone or any thing at anytime, and is not restricted to a particular being. The poem is similar to Beggar Woman in its structure being a regular rhyming pattern. This is the only poem out of the five, which glorifies love for its own sake, and does not have any particular characters, making it unique from the rest.

Conclusion I have evaluated the poems and the conclusion I have reached is all the poems have a structure and form, some of them are similar in structure and content, some only in theme, others though, are relatively similar in subject which can be humorous or sad. The writer can determine this by the style and content that he or she decides to use. Love poems can be categorised into differing themes of love, but all have certain things similar about them. Love is an emotion and as such evokes feelings on reading them.

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