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Analysis of two poems; Easter Monday and Prayer Before Birth

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Analysis of two poems; Easter Monday and Prayer Before Birth I will be looking at and analysing two poems which reflect upon the theme of war. I will be looking at their meanings, their forms and show how the poet uses his/her language to express their ideas and feelings. The two poems in which I will be analysing are 'Easter Monday' by Eleanor Farjeon and 'Prayer Before Birth' by Louis MacNeice. Eleanor Farjeon was born in London in 1881 and died in 1965. She wrote a great deal for children and also wrote poetry for adults including many sonnets. She lived through the Second World War and many of her poems deal with her experiences of this period. She fell in love with another poet; Edward Thomas who was killed in action in 1917 and to whom this poem is addressed. She was a friend of both Thomas and his wife Helen and the wife new and accepted the relationship of Thomas and Eleanor, but she never the less seemed to have felt some guilt about the relationship. ...read more.


Starting with the first four lines the poet uses an extensive use of enjambment; the poet uses this literary technique to convey emotion. The poet also uses symbolism for example, "You found the egg the Monday before Easter", the use of the word egg symbolises new life. From lines 5-9 there is a change in syntax (sentence structure) which are short and sharp sentences, this conveys her emotion. Louis MacNeice was born in Northern Ireland in 1907 and died in 1963. His mother sadly died when he was very young and her death affected him deeply for the rest of his life. He went to Oxford and he was one of a group of poets at Oxford who became famous. He was deeply affected by the political events of the 1930's and by the Second World War. In this poem an unborn child prays that it should be born into a good world. The only verse which provides images of this good world is verse number three and the images of goodness are linked to nature; water, grass, trees, sky and a white light to guide him. ...read more.


He uses alliteration as one of his features for example, "lies lure", "lovers laugh", "drugs dope", "grass grow". This feature creates a fast tone. The poet creates Images of restriction to emphasise upon a point for example, "walls wall". Similes are also used on a regular basis for example, "like thistledown", "like water". This creates imagery and gives us a better sense of the poem. Personification is another feature used by the poet as it creates a suggested idea of a person for example, "trees talk", "sky to sing to me". The repetition of words creates a rhythm and emphasises upon a point. It also creates tension and suspicion. The rhyming scheme builds to a crescendo. Overall I found that both poems were interesting and enjoyable to analyse. I found that the theme of war in both poems created a sense of emotion towards its audience through various ways such as language, form, structure and many more which I have commented upon. My preference overall was Easter Monday by Eleanor Farjeon, due to the fact that I felt more emotion towards the poet and her feelings. ...read more.

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