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What distinguishes many of the poets in this anthology are the varying poetic ways in which they explore the nature of human suffering.(TM)

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Introduction

'What distinguishes many of the poets in this anthology are the varying poetic ways in which they explore the nature of human suffering.' How far do you agree? You should include an examination of The Wife of the Usher's Well and at least two other poems that cover two sections. The Wife of the Usher's Well tells the story of a mother who sends her three sons out to sea, which consequently results in their death. The depth of her grief returns them home, for one evening only, leaving once 'the cock he hadna crawed but once'. The poem is an example of a traditional ballad, where the narrator, who tells the story in twelve ballad stanzas, speaks in a colloquial dialect and the dialogue has a personal feel, which creates a sense of close communication with the audience. The poem follows the traditional ballad convention of an abrupt opening, in which the reader is immediately plunged directly into the plot with no description or explanation. The poem holds both a passionate and dramatic content, which really helps the audience to empathise with the wife. ...read more.

Middle

As the poem progresses, we see that the language becomes more and more simple. This, in addition to the constant simplicity of the structure and rhyming scheme, contributes to the shocking impact of the sons' exit, leaving their mother to go through the grief of losing them once more. The final three stanzas have an eerie, isolated feel to them and are dedicated to the harsh, instant exit of the soldiers, leaving the wife alone once more and allows the audience to reflect upon the grief and heartache that the mother has had to endure by herself for so long. The end of the poem sees the poet finish with words from the sons, which have a definite sense of regret. The final stanza leaves a lasting impression on the audience, who become all too aware that, despite the wife's grief being emphasised throughout, it ends with absolutely no mention of her thoughts or feelings, providing both a cautionary and pessimistic tone, leaving the audience with a bitter sense of finality lingering in their minds. Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 is a poem about the cycles of nature: autumn to winter; life to death, and is written to prepare the poet's friend for the death of his youth ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole poem expresses her devastation at being 'forced' to end their relationship, demonstrated by the constant paradoxes which work to full effect to reinforce the suffering Elizabeth is experiencing, 'I love and yet am forced to seem to hate'. Elizabeth's inner conflict between her heart and her public status is represented through the use of the word 'prate', meaning she is inwardly having a conversation. The audience empathise with her, as it becomes obvious her feelings of love and suffering are inescapable no matter how hard she tries; 'My care is like my shadow in the sun'. The audience interprets her love as an overwhelming emotion, shown through words such as her 'burning' passion, suggesting that she wishes it would go away and, instead, replaced with a more gentle passion. The poem has a particularly lamenting tone, which is reinforced through the ABCC rhyme scheme: each line is filled with tension, which emphasises her overwhelming sense of loss. The complete devastation and overwhelming passion is something the audience, both at the time and today, can relate to and is conveyed clearly through the idea of a divided self, which runs throughout the poem and develops into a theme. For example, 'Since from myself another self I turned' reinforces this theme effectively. ...read more.

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