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The three poems I am going to be analysing are as follows, The Song of the Old Mother, The Affliction of Margaret and Ulysses.

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Introduction

The three poems I am going to be analysing are as follows, The Song of the Old Mother, The Affliction of Margaret and Ulysses. The poem starts with the old mother telling us how she usually starts her day at dawn. Lighting the fire (which I believe would be used for the rest of her jobs). Then she scrubs the room (using water heated over the fire?), then bakes (again using the fire.) and then sweeping up. By the she has finished all her work, the stars are coming out again - "beginning to blink and peep". The young people meanwhile are able to "lie long", dreaming of "matching" ribbons on their clothes and in their hair. In truth, they are lazy. And because of this I can say that the family life that this family receives may not be very good. While the mother works all day to look after her children, they do nothing. It shows a lack of respect. The poem ends with the image of the fire's going cold. This may possibly be a metaphor for the loss of energy that comes with old age. ...read more.

Middle

Margaret contemplates the fact that he might be dead. (In a way it would be a relief for her, because then she could put her mind at rest.) As it goes on she realises that he cannot be dead, for ghostly spirits bring back messages from the dead, so maybe he just doesn't want to return. She resigns herself to this fact, and the poem ends with her pleading for her son to return, or at least to give her a sign of his wellbeing. The Affliction of Margaret is very much like the poem The Song of the Old Mother. Both of them contain a sad mother, and both show, I believe a lack of respect. In Butler-Yeats's poem, the speaker believes that her children don't respect her for what she does around the house and in Wordsworth's poem. I believe that the mother thinks that her son doesn't respect her and that's why he hasn't returned. The poem Ulysses is another dramatic monologue. The speaker is a well-known mythical character. ...read more.

Conclusion

And he leaves the kingdom in his son's hands saying that "he works his work, I mine." So the third stanza shows that there is still love in this family, even though Ulysses has been away for so long. The fourth section sees Ulysses make ready to set sail. He speaks affectionately to inspire the loyal sailors who have travelled with him before, and who have chosen, as "free hearts", to join in the last adventure. This will be "some work of noble note", something appropriate to "men that strove with Gods". His goal is to sail west and find a new world. From his speech it is clear that Ulysses has had more of a family life with his ship mates, whom he all respects. Ulysses knows that this will be the last trip he ever makes with them. He tells them to sail west until he dies (which makes it a rather sad poem.) All of the poems I have analysed share one common theme, respect either lack of or lots of, but mainly a lack of respect, all three of the poems also show a bad family life for the speakers of the poems. END ...read more.

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