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Struggle/survival essay.

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Struggle/survival essay. In this essay I will be comparing poems by Clarke (Babysitting), Heaney (Storm on the island), Whitman (Patrolling Barnegat) and Yeats (The Song of the Old Mother). I will be looking at how they convey the idea of struggle/survival through their poems. All of the poets use metaphorical language to achieve effect and in some cases these are directly connected to the idea of struggle or survival such as 'The Song of the Old Mother' where the poet uses the metaphor: 'And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.' In my opinion this metaphor relates the idea of the fire diminishing to the old mother who seems to be diminishing as well. The poet mentions that the old mother must 'rise in the dawn' and how she must work as she is 'old'. ...read more.


After a class discussion we all agreed that the idea of the 'bleached bone' enables you to visualise an image of a dead person who has been covered up by a white sheet. This section of the poems also relates to both struggle and survival: the woman who has to continue without her partner, 'collecting her dignity' before facing the new life she has been left with and the fact that her partner has not managed to survive. The fact that the woman is in the 'terminal ward' tells me this. In Seamus Heany's poem, 'Storm on the island.' He describes his struggle in an almost military sense when he uses the metaphor: 'Space is a salvo'. The word 'salvo' makes me think of the sounds of guns. ...read more.


When the poet describes the baby as 'stretching for milk - familiar comforting' she thinks the baby wants only it's mother at that time. In Yeats' poem he conveys the struggle differently through one person. The Old Mother's hardship is compared to the easy life her children lead in the words 'while the children's day goes over in idleness' she must 'scrub and bake and sweep'. Collectively, all four poems contain a range of language technique. Metaphors are used widely but Heaney is the only poet to use an oxymoron. He describes the sea as 'exploding comfortably'. I believe he uses this contradictory language to encapsulate the almost effortless strength of the sea and draw attention to the struggle of the islanders against it. Whitman and Yeats use less language techniques in these particular poems than do Clarke and Heaney. ...read more.

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