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Love is a common theme in poetry and it has been written about for hundreds of years. Two of the most famous poets in history are William Shakespeare and W.B. Yeats. Both of these poets used the love theme very often in their poems.

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Introduction

Love is a common theme in poetry and it has been written about for hundreds of years. Two of the most famous poets in history are William Shakespeare and W.B. Yeats. Both of these poets used the love theme very often in their poems. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616. He was from Stratford, Upon Avon and was famous for writing plays. William Shakespeare was a world-renowned playwright. He wrote the famous play 'Macbeth' and is still performed hundreds of years later. Shakespeare had written most of his poems before 1600. This was a period of change when people living in medieval times developed into modern times. He wrote mainly about love and nature and his poetry was very subjective and contained very deep feelings. W.B. Yeats was born in 1865 and died in 1939. He was always a poet. He was a protestant man from Dublin and was a nationalist. Yeats tended to use Irish mythology in his poems. He was a shy man who fell in love with a lady called Maud Gonne. He asked her to marry him on several occasions but she refused. Instead she married a man called Major John McBride. Yeats' poems are very carefully crafted and his love poems more to do with longing than fulfilment. His poetry often relates back to Maud Gonne. He was devastated that she would not marry him and she said if she did Ireland would lose their best poet. ...read more.

Middle

Great diction is used to describe the woman's beauty, "Fair from fair". This helps to emphasise this woman's beauty. I feel that there is a positive tone to this poem, a tone of praise and relaxation. Also great references are made to the good looks of this woman, "Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st." Overall the impact of this poem is relaxing and warming. It did not shock or surprise but praised and complimented this woman. It was calm and soothing. In my opinion the positive tone of the poem has more of a lasting and likable affect than a tone of negativity. The poem also has a very strong and definite ending. It means that as long as his poem is still in existence so will her beauties, "So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." Another great poet is W.B. Yeats. His poems are very well written and most of his love poems are to do with longing rather than fulfilment. Often his poems are very wistful and dreamy. One excellent poem by Yeats is, "The song of wondering Aengus." Straight away from the title we can see that already Yeats talks about "Aengus" a Celtic god, which illustrates to us how he speaks of things that are not real. So before even reading the poem the reader has a sense of mystery and magic. The poem is more is more about longing and wanting this woman than actually having her. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is a way of telling her that his love goes deeper than any other mans and that one day she will realise this. Also Yeats makes excellent use of personification in the poem. He personifies love making it seem like a person. He says, "Love fled." So again we see a feeling of rejection and negativity. I feel that the last line of the poem, "Hid his face" also gives a negative aspect of how he is feeling pain and torment. In conclusion, I feel that between the two poets I discussed W.B. Yeats is the better poet. His originality of the theme "love" was used to great effect and although he didn't succeed in finding love, he wrote very positively and clearly about it and expressed his desires and feelings for it. He used nature and Irish mythology to express his feelings, which was very unique. I preferred the poem, "When you are old." This in my opinion was the most original and strongest poem of them all. He wrote from a very unusual angle of the woman he loved: when she was old and how she will remember him in years to come. Also the repetition of the word "Love" in his poems stresses the true feelings about love inside him and his true emotions for Maud Gonne. W.B. Yeats wrote very unreal and dreamy poetry. Use of nature to describe both positive and negative emotions is excellent. In my opinion I feel that love poetry communicates the emotions very realistically and also you can get an in depth view of what kind of a person the poet is. Declan Gervin Page 1 ...read more.

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