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"A Poet's response to place is rarely purely descriptive" - Discuss.

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Introduction

"A Poet's response to place is rarely purely descriptive" In this essay I will write about whether I agree with the statement above, or not. I will base my conclusion upon a detailed examination of two poems. I will look at the ideas and techniques poets use, language and imagery etc. I agree with the above statement, I feel nothing is purely descriptive, for example when someone says " That house looks deep-rooted and daunting" the quote is descriptive as well as being someone's personal opinion. To one person it may look daunting but to another the house may look safe and restful. Whenever someone describes something, it always includes an opinion, so nothing can ever be purely descriptive. I will back up my opinion by looking at the two poems: London -William Blake (1757-1827) Dover Beach -Matthew Arnold (1823-1888) ...read more.

Middle

Also how the river Thames is governed "Charter'd Thames " The quotation shows that even a river which should seem free, is owned , restricted. When Blake describes the restrictions, he is also enlightening the reader about the state of the residents of London, "mind forg'd manacles" this quotation shows the depression and imprisoning of people, in their own mind. People are searching for liberty. People in London are abandoning the church because there lives are going so wrong "Every Black'ning Church appalls". The word "plagues" really gives us the impact of the place he was walking through, it's a very pungent word. In this Poem, Blake uses disconnected stanza's, almost to describe the place where he is , nothing is stable, including peoples life. The rhythm of the poem is monotonous, there is not one positive image or feeling. There is also assonance to reinforce what he is saying. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the third stanza, the sea is turned into a metaphoric "Sea of Faith" (l.21) -- a symbol for a time when religion could still be experienced without the doubts brought about by progress and science (Darwinism). Now, the 'Sea of Faith' and also the certainty of religion withdraws itself from the human grasp and leaves only darkness behind. Matthew Arnold, not only describes Dover beach, he describes he thoughts on the world, and why things are the way they are. To conclude with both the poems I have looked at, have reinforced the statement: "A Poet's response to place is rarely purely descriptive" I have shown by using "London" and "Dover beach" that a poet always does so much more than simply describe a place, the poet's own thoughts and feelings shine through. The reader gets taken deep down into the poem ,and finds out why the poet feels the way he/she does. Each poem is an insight to the way poets feel about places. Neither poems just describes a place, therefore I empathize with the above statement. 1 ...read more.

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