• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Comparative Study of Three Pre-1914 Love Poems

Extracts from this document...


Jesse McDonald 12th November 2008 A Comparative Study of Three Pre-1914 Love Poems Throughout history people have shared their deepest feelings and thoughts through the medium of poetry. The form and genre this poetry takes can vary dramatically. One poet's interpretation of a given theme can be very different from another's and as can the poet's means of expressing his viewpoint through the use of language, structure and other literary techniques. One of the most common themes in poetry is love. In the following comparative study I will be analysing three Pre-1914 love poems and comparing the literary techniques used and the context to which the poems were written. Even before you begin to read "First Love" by John Clare you are immediately drawn into the writer's world by the poem's evocative title. "First Love" is a theme everyone can relate to; as everyone remembers their first love. By using such a simple and yet powerful title the reader feels empathy with the writer from the start and this empathy continues as you read through the beginning of the poem. This is achieved by the use of simple, yet romantic and emotive language to describe the writers love. An example of this would be: "Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower". ...read more.


Unlike John Clare in "First Love" he appears to have no interest in true love, but merely desires to make love to the women. An example is: "At every pore with instant fires". This is an example of the young man's urgent passion for immediate love. There is no romance to it; he is only after one thing! The young man's intensions become even more apparent as we look further on in the poem. On the final two lines Andrew Marvell uses a clever pun: "Thus, though we cannot make our sun / Stand still, yet we will make him run". The word "sun" is a homophone of "son" and is used to great effect in this example. He uses "sun" to say that he cannot stop the inevitable passing of time and "son" to mean they will make a baby that will be able to "run". By saying that he cannot stop time the young man is reinforcing his argument that the women should "seize the moment" and they should "make" a son together. This is also an example of his immaturity. It would appear their relationship is still in the early stages and despite the fact she is "coy" he is already thinking about children and only wants to take advantage and use her. ...read more.


Though "To his coy mistress" has less substance and background to it; I really enjoyed the wittiness and style. I like the way it makes a mockery of the idealised love poem and instead portrays a rather crude form of love. I was particularly impressed with the skillful use of puns and metaphoric language throughout and the use of iambic pentameter. With regards to "Shall I compare thee...?" I like the iambic pentameter and the use of rhyming couplets; however I find it more difficult to relate to when compared with "First Love". I'm also not very fond of the ending. It is almost as if Shakespeare could not think of a suitable ending, so he devised one which could basically fit onto any poem. The mystery surrounding "Shall I compare thee...?" is quite an attractive feature to it. Who is the youth who Shakespeare writes about in so many of his sonnets? Is the love described merely platonic? It almost certainly, will never truly be known. Each one of the poems I studied displays numerous literary techniques which I will be trying to adapt into my own future work. I have enjoyed analysing the three poems and have learnt how even poems in the same genre can vary dramatically in both style and content. This in my opinion is the beauty of poetry. It thrives on open-mindedness and demonstrates how varied our different interpretations of the same genre are. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. "The Flea" by John Donne is

    This shows that he wants her to realise that it would be great if they had sex. There are numerous references to fun and games, such as 'now let us sport while we may/and now like amorous birds of prey'.

  2. In conclusion, the poems which I have studied describe a range of emotions from ...

    scene for any readers and it gives them a vivid image of what she is talking about. Also, her use of candlelight instead of night could be because of the fact that candlelight is associated with romance and love and so her use of this word make the overall effect

  1. 'The course of true love never did run smooth'By what techniques does Shakespeare prove ...

    that 'The course of true love never did run smooth', he shows us this in several different ways.

  2. shakespeares sonnets

    This shows that Shakespeare is describing his lover's beauty in a completely opposite way. In "Sonnet 130" Shakespeare simply wants to show that some poets may exaggerate about how beautiful their lover is. Shakespeare wants to show that there are things that are more beautiful than a woman's appearance: "And

  1. Show how the poet uses language to explore the theme of love in the ...

    poetry, so popular in medieval times, to come up with a tongue in cheek poem, undoubtedly portraying love in a mockingly humorous way. Courtly Love poetry originated in Europe during the 11th century and spread quickly to France, Germany and England.

  2. Love Poetry - "To His Coy Mistress" and "Sonnets from the Portuguese (XLIII)"

    Marvell's use of short sentences helps to get straight to the point and it also makes the reader read the poem faster. This aids the overall message of the poem because Marvell wants to get her into bed quickly, and by using many punctuation marks, he can show his intentions in more than just words.

  1. A study of how pre-1914 poets have explored different aspects of love over time.

    He uses very direct approach; and again the first two lines, "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; / Coral is far more red than her lips red"9, directly signals his intentions. The rhyming couplet at the end states that despite these 'imperfections,' Shakespeare still greatly loved and valued

  2. Pre-20th Century Sonnets - Comparative Analysis

    Elements of personification are contained since the stars have no tenure thus Shakespeare speaks of love as if it were human to express the importance of it. In the sestet of the sonnet, Shakespeare speaks of love as neither a slave nor a "fool" to time for the reason that it is much bigger.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work