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'Both of these poems, "Sonnets From The Portuguese" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and "Stop all the Clocks" from "Twelve Songs" by WH Auden, concern love, but in each case the individual treatment of it is very different.'

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Introduction

'Both of these poems, "Sonnets From The Portuguese" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and "Stop all the Clocks" from "Twelve Songs" by WH Auden, concern love, but in each case the individual treatment of it is very different.' Consider the poems in the light of this statement ensuring you give a detailed response. Both poems are written indicating great passion. However, one is written on the basis of loss of love and the other more on the passion of existing love. These immediate contrasts determine the comparisons between the two. 'Stop all the Clocks' by WH Auden concerns the loss of love, and as the poem progresses it emphasises the poets escalating grief. It is a very powerful poem which helps the reader to emphasise and relate more to the issues within it. Sonnets from the Portuguese' by Barret Browning, also concerns love. Written to her husband, Robert Browning with whom she eloped, the poet, like Auden, expresses the enormity of her emotions to represent the measure of her love. Both poets exaggerate their feelings to portray the enormity of them.. They do this mostly by use of imagery, repetition, rhetorical devices and language. Auden exaggerates his feelings to the extreme to try and show the enormity of his grief. This is shown throughout , for instance, when he says 'Pour away the ocean' This is clearly an exaggeration of how he feels, almost as though nothing has any point or meaning anymore or as though nothing can compare to his loss. ...read more.

Middle

This statement gives the impression that for Auden, everything can now stop and pack up because without his lover, the world is nothing and incomplete. In Barret Browning's poem, however, she writes of her existing love, which she states to be a pure one, 'I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise' This suggests that she loves him as people in general love, in a way that is not coloured by fame or praise. Repetition is one of the main devices used throughout the poem. 'I love thee' is the starting point for each new sentence. Repetition is used to enforce the point being made and make it more powerful, as it acts as a constant reminder and stresses its importance. Rhetorical devices are also used at the start of the poem where Barret Browning asks, 'How do I love thee?' his rhetorical device is used effectively as it introduces the poem in an immediate way, and shows that her feelings have turned into wonder about how much she loves him. The verse structure of the two poems is also very different. Barret Browning's poem, written using iambic pentameter keeps a steady rhythm throughout and is only one verse long, written as a series of statements reaching further than the one before, each sentence growing, in a way bigger and bigger, as she strives to identify why her love transcends the body into the soul. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each poet also has a very different view of loss of love and death. In the case of Barret Browning it is as though she is saying that death will not cause her love for him to end and in fact, death may even cause her to love him more, 'and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death' This suggests that Barret Browning feels that death will not stand in the way of her love for her husband. Auden, however, feels that once death comes, love is over. This can be seen when he states, 'For nothing now can ever come to any good' He here, and much throughout the poem, is implying that he is left in the world mourning the loss of his lover. This sentence also stresses his feeling of loss, as he uses the words 'nothing', 'ever' and 'any' In conclusion, the two poets each look at love and loss of love in a totally different light, each conveying their points of view throughout. Barret Browning appears to have a much more optimistic view on love, whether it be an existing one, or one after death, whereas Auden has a much more pessimistic view on it. This could possibly be because Auden has actually experienced the death of his lover, unlike Barret Browning who's optimistic views could possibly be a reflection of the fact that she has not yet felt what it is like to lose her lover. Sarah Abd-Rabbou 11B ...read more.

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