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Comparison Between Hour and to His Coy Mistress

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Both poems, hour and to his coy mistress compare well with each other in the sense that they both have the same theme, making reference to how important love is and the value spending time with one another has and just thinking about the present, rather than thinking ahead. The poems are based around the same theme, but presented in a different style. Hour shows the side of a more romantic love, whilst to his coy mistress displays the idea of a more physical relationship. Carol Ann Duffy uses a more subtle language style and represents a positive, warm feeling and the tone is sweet, whilst Andrew Marvell talks more about a sexual, intimate relationship, and the tone being very masculine and hostile, as well as it being quite humorous.

Carol Ann Duffy talks about how just spending an hour together goes so fast and that you need to make the most of this ‘hour’ you finally have together. “Loves times beggar… makes love rich”. Here there is a metaphor used. Duffy is imagining time as a person and love as a beggar. Instead of dropping a coin into a cup, time is dropping a single hour, and so love as a beggar is a negative thing. She suggests how it difficult to “find an hour together” and not to spend it on flowers or wine so just using that precious hour under a “grass ditch”. To his coy mistress contrasts with this, as he is only asking for a short time to be with her in bed, and he wants to do everything quickly before things fade and get old. We can see that he wants to make the most of this woman while she is still young. “Stand still, yet we make him run” the quote suggests that they are going to make the most of the time, as they are unable to stop it.

Carol looks at love at another angle, making the most of every second they get, so that they can make their relationship stronger. “The whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch”. This implies that they want to just spend their whole youth together, in a relationship. Both poems use different types of poetic techniques to convey their ideas about love. Hour uses similes and personifications, for example, “loves times beggar” which is displaying how people don’t have enough time for love, and that love is begging time. To his coy mistress contains metaphors, example “Time’s winged chariot hurrying near” suggesting how time goes so fast and that death is near.

Carol Ann Duffy says in hour, “time hates love” and in to his coy mistress, Andrew quotes ““we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run” both these poets are saying how time is a very powerful thing over love, and although we cannot stop time, it will have to catch the lovers up to end their existence because they will be busy in their relationship. Duffy also makes reference to two fairy tales/myths, where she states and at the end poem ‘love spins gold, gold, gold from straw’ referring to the story of rumpelstlitskin, and the poet may be suggesting that you may feel that your relationship is so strong but to be careful because time is so strong that it could shorten or take your relationship away. It is suggesting that love is so strong, and is unstoppable.

Duffy also quotes ‘the Midas light turning your limbs to gold.’ she uses a metaphor of Midas who turned everything to gold and the continuous reference to gold displays how she is emphasising the preciousness of love. To his coy mistress emphasises on the idea that if you could pause time, or had enough time, then they would do everything in the world. ‘Had we but world enough, and time/ This coyness, Lady, were no crime”. “Now, time hates…” this one word sentence (now) shows a short, sudden event. The relationship has come and gone in a flash. This is underlining the swiftness of time. “Time hates love” is a personification indicating that time is hateful and greedy. Time is loves enemy. “Wants love poor”. Here it is applying wealth to love. It is not indicating poor as in money like we would think, however it is illustrating a poverty of time.

To his coy mistress emphasises on the fact that they shouldn’t waste time and should make the most out of it while their still young and attractive. “Times winged..” this is a metaphor indicating the passing of time and that eventually we will die. “thy beauty… worms shall try” these few line are illustrating the importance of this beauty while your young because you can no longer be beautiful when you’re dead and that worms will eat every part of you so if you don’t make the most of your beauty, it will be a waste once you’re in your grave and also it suggests that whether we live by honour or lust, we will “turn to dust and into ashes’’ anyway. In hour, ‘For thousands of seconds we kiss’ = sibilance makes it sound soft and sensual. But thousand of seconds isn’t actually that long…is all as it seems? Overall, both poems make reference to the idea of time as an obstacle for lovers and it displays the intensity of love and the value of being in each other’s presence, as well as the idea that time is a force which is against lovers.

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