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In the poem The Darkling Thrush, nature has a predominantly negative effect on the poet.

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Introduction

Poetry Coursework. Kelly McCombe In the poem The Darkling Thrush, nature has a predominantly negative effect on the poet. It makes him feel depressed and isolated. Towards the end of the poem the poet's mood lifts when he sees an "aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small," chirping. In the poem Neutral Tones nature is portrayed in a negative way, however, in this poem nature reflects how the poets relationship is failing rather than effects how he is feeling. In The Darkling Thrush the title begins to paint a negative picture. The word "Darkling" means, "shrouded in darkness." Neutral Tones also refers to colour in its title. The word "Neutral" implies blandness and colourless emotions. There is a link between the two poems as both colours are unappealing and are surrounded by a dull negative aura. Throughout the poem The Darkling Thrush there is a sense of emptiness, desolation and loneliness, this also applies to Neutral Tones. ...read more.

Middle

The poet uses a lot of language associated with death to convey how his positive emotions and feelings have died. Hardy uses an effective extended metaphor using the theme of death to convey how his hope has died: The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon the earth Seemed fervourless as I. This metaphor also adds to the desolation of the area, the word "pulse" refers to life which in this case is no where to be seen, the land is dead. Hardy uses some examples of religious language. He compares the landscape to religious things to convey his search for faith. He uses the word "soul" and "evensong" and "carolling" to describe different aspects of the surroundings. Towards the end of the poem it becomes apparent that the poets mood has lifted. The religious language enhances the fact that the poets mood has lifted and adds a hopeful note. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the poem Neutral Tones there are several colours used throughout the poem, in relation to the landscape, such as ash, gray and white, all of which are dull and bland depicting how the poet feels about his relationship. In Neutral Tones the pond represents how the relationship is still, without ripples and nothing flowing. The starving sod, which is emphasised through alliteration, portrays how the relationship is slowly dying, has no nourishment and is no longer fruitful. To conclude, the bird in both poems is of great significance. The bird in The Darkling Thrush although so old and frail has some underlying "...blessed Hope," which the poet doesn't have, yet longs for. The poet conveys that a spiritual force is behind the birds carolling: So little cause for carollings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, The birds beautiful singing contrasts with its bleak surroundings. The bird in Neutral Tones is an "ominous" bird. Therefore, this bird is a contrast to the thrush. Through use of effective language the poet has conveyed in both poems how nature can both reflect and affect someone's feelings. ...read more.

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3 star(s)

The essay makes some useful points but suffers from a lack of focus and direction because there is apparently no specific question or issue it is meant to be addressing. A well phrased title is always a good idea as it helps to focus the essay and structure the argument.
Also the writer should give more thought to analysis of language. It is a characteristic feature of poetry that the language is carefully chosen, allusive and often (but not always) figurative. In this essay the writer has not done justice to the poems by giving the language sufficient precise and detailed attention.
***

Marked by teacher Val Shore 24/04/2012

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