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Poetry comparison

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1575
  • Category: Poetry

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Each poem gives a different point of view of love. E. g. “First Love” is about a man who has fallen in love for the first time, he shares his emotions and feeling with us. “How Do I Love Thee” is a direct poem to her lover showing how strong and measureless her love is by using non-objective things to compare her love. I will be analysing: the subject and tone of the poem, the form and structure, imagery, the rhyme and rhythm and other language patterns including alliteration, rhetorical devices and repetition.

These will help me to explain the point of views. The poem “How Do I Love Thee? ” By Elizabeth Barrett Browning shows us unconditional love, which is measureless. The quote ‘I love thee to the depth and breadth and height’ shows us how deep and meaningful his love is to her. The poem has a positive tone as it is talking about how deep her love is, it uses words like “love”, “purely”, “life”. These words give us the positive feeling. The poem “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti is a direct poem to her lover comparing her love to objects using similes e. . “my heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a watered shoot. ”

It then it orders her servants to do things for her e. g. “raise me a dais of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes;” this is to prepare everything for her lover. This poem is a happy poem because it uses positive words like “heart” “gladder” “love”. These words show us that this poem has a positive mood. The poem called ‘A Woman To Her Lover’ by Christina Walsh is a poem controlled by the poet. She is standing up for her rights on how she should be treated.

She first of all asks her lover a rhetorical question asking if he wants to control her, cherish her or use her for pleasure, if yes she will refuse him, but if he wants her to be his friend and equal partner then she will love him back. At the beginning of the poem, the mood is negative, the poet uses the words “conqueror” “vanquished” “refuse” “drudgery”, these are the words which give the negative tone. In the last stanza, the tone becomes lighter and more promising as the poet uses words like “friend, mate” “live” “passion” “forever” “co-equal love”, these words set a positive tone.

The poem “First Love” is structured in to octaves; this means it has eight lines in each stanza; it has three stanzas. The first stanza talks about who he saw and how beautiful she was, the next stanza talks about his emotions and how he “could not see a single thing”, in the last paragraph, he begins to doubt love and asks questions like “are flowers the winters choice? ” and “is love’s bed always snow? ” The poem “How Do I Love Thee? ‘ is a petrarchan sonnet; this means that it has fourteen lines.

The first eight lines are an octave, and the last six lines are a sestet. The poet used this structure because they have different rhyme schemes, this is effective because in the octave, she compares love to eternal things like the sun or her soul, but in the sestet, she compares love to past things like her old grieves and childhood. The poem ‘A Woman To Her Lover’ has four stanzas of irregular length; this poem has no rhyme, no rhythm or no pattern whatsoever. The poem is split into four stanzas because each stanza talks about different ways of treating women.

The poem “First Love” has a few main images including “And she stole my heart away complete” and “and blood burnt round my heart. ” The poet uses metaphors like “stole” “my life seemed to turn to clay” “words from my eyes did start. ” It uses similes like “My face turned pale as deadly pale” “They spoke as chords do from a string. ” The poet’s choice of words creates an emotional tone it gives us a sense of love, happiness and joy. These feelings are triggered by words like “love” “so sudden and so sweet” “flower” “heart. ” In the poem, it only uses sight; this is used to evoke a feeling of love.

The poem “How Do I love Thee” has a lot of main images; some are things like, the sun or candlelight. These images create a warm, cosy feeling. The poet’s choice of words conjures up a warm, secure, comfortable feeling, the words that take part in these feelings are words like “sun”, “candlelight”, “freely”, “purely”, “passion”. This creates nothing other than a happy, most admirable tone. The senses used in this poem are sight and touch, they evoke a protective feeling. The poem ‘A birthday’ has a lot of main imagery e. g. my heart is like a singing bird” or “my heart is like an apple tree. ”

The poem doesn’t use any metaphors, but uses a lot of similes like “my heart is like a singing bird” my heart is like an apple tree” “my heart is like a rainbow shell. ” The poet’s choice of words gives us a peaceful, loving feeling because of the words like singing, heart, gladder, love, and gold. This also creates a positive feeling. The poem uses senses like sound, taste, sight and touch. These senses create a happy and peaceful feeling. In the poem “First Love”, the poet uses alliteration like. “So sudden” “so sweet.

This gives the poem a passionate effect, but the poet also uses alliteration like “blood burnt” which gives the poem a dark effect. The poet set the poem in the past tense, the poet chose this tense so he can pass this on as a story. In the poem “How Do I Love Thee? ” the poet uses poetic devices such as three part lists e. g. “I love thee to the depth and breadth and height. ” This shows us that the poets love for her lover is strong and unbreakable. The poet has chosen to set the poem in present tense because she is explaining how she loves her lover at that moment.

In the poem ‘A Woman To Her Lover’, the poet uses alliteration e. g. “wed with” “for feeble” “skin soft” ” wakened woman” “hand holding hand”. These create a strong and firm feeling. The poet chose this poem to be in the present tense because she is asking questions to her lover of how she should be treated. In this poem, the poet chose to use a lot of rhetorical devices; the first two stanzas are rhetorical questions, as she is asking her lover how he is going to treat her.

The poet also uses three part lists frequently in the poem e. g. whose every deed and word and wish is golden” this gives us a heavenly feeling, but “oh shame, and pity and abasement,” gives us a sad, embarrassing feeling, “then I shall be your comrade, friend and mate” this gives us a sense of equality. The poem “First Love’ follows the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD. The poem has eight syllables in the first stanza, and in the second and third stanza it has 8,6,8,6. The poem has four beats to a line in the first stanza but in the second and third it becomes four and three alternately. This makes the rhythm of the poem speed up and echoes the poet’s heartbeat when he sees his lover for the first time.

In the poem ‘How Do I Love Thee? ‘ the first eight lines follow the rhyme scheme of ABBA, but the last six lines follows the rhyme scheme CDCDCD. The poem has ten syllables to a line and has five beats to each line. The poem ‘A Birthday’ follows the rhyme scheme ABCBABCB, the rhythm of the poem is four beats to a line. This suggests that the poem has a slow pace. All the love poems I have been analysing have a different aspect of love; this means that they also have different messages to give out. All the poems, except ‘A Birthday’ and ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ have different rhyme schemes.

Most of the poems do not have equal language patterns such as alliteration, assonance, repetition etc. Most of the poems don’t have the same structure or the same tone. In the poem ‘first love’ the poet has expressed his love for this woman using passionate words like “so sudden” “so sweet” “sweet flower. ” This gives us a strong idea of how much the poet loves her. In the poem ‘A Woman to Her Lover’ the poet uses words shows the opposite of love e. g. refuse, vanquished, pity. But the poet does use words for love e. g. passion, joy, husband, co-equal love.

The devices used by each poet have their own effectiveness, for example, “First Love” gives us a different effect compared to ‘To His Coy Mistress’ or ‘A Woman to Her lover’, because they use the devices differently to the other poets. Overall, I think that the poem ‘A Woman to Her Lover’ was the most effective, because of the powerful, rebellious words used in the poem, like “vanquished”, “refuse”, “bondslave”, “drudgery” etc. but the poem changes rapidly and becomes calm and loving e. g. “lover”, “comrade”, “friend”, “mate”, “passion”, “joy” etc. this shows us how the emphasis of a poem can change.

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