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Comparative Poetry Essay: Both In Memory of My mother by Patrick Kavanagh and For My Mother by Elizabeth Jennings are about the loss of a mother. Which poem is the most effective?

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Introduction

Both "In Memory of My mother" by Patrick Kavanagh and "For My Mother" by Elizabeth Jennings are about the loss of a mother. Which poem is the most effective? In this essay I will compare two great poems, both written by well known poets. The two poems are: "In Memory of My Mother" written by Patrick Kavanagh and the other "For My Mother - My Mother Dying Aged 87" written by Elizabeth Jennings. Both poems have a similar theme which is linked to the remembrance of a mother, but these poets come from different backgrounds. Patrick Kavanagh is an Irish poet, who was born in Inniskeen, County Monaghan on 21st October 1904; he was the son of a shoemaker and small farmer. He then later died on 30th November 1967 and was buried in his native Inniskeen. The other poet, Elizabeth Jennings, is an English poet. She was born in Boston, Lincolnshire on 18th July 1926. Jennings also received an Honors Degree in English from St. Anne's College. She later died on 26th October 2001 and buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. Before I start analyzing the two poems, I would first like to outline the definition of what makes an effective poem. An effective poem is one where the words in the poem describe something so vividly that you can "see" what the author's describing in your imagination. ...read more.

Middle

There is some alliteration, for example on the 7th line of the 1st stanza there is repetition of the 's' sound, ' Small Shell ', this is good use of alliteration as it makes the poem more imaginative, it also gives the poem a "hushed sound". Kavanagh's poem also has a wide range of repetition, there is repetition of the word 'you' and 'I' which gives a hint that the poem is again addressed to some one and also that it gives the poem an individual feeling. Moreover, there is alliteration in Kavanagh's poem on the 1st line of the 2nd stanza, 'Second mass on a summer Sunday'. This is the imagination of the "hush" sound in the church. Here, there is a repetition of the 's' sound repeated. On the subject of language, there are many similarities between both poems. Both poems have a repetition of personal pronouns which gives the poem intimate feeling. Furthermore, the use of the word 'I' allows the reader to understand that this is something from the poets hearts. However, the only main difference is that Jennings uses repetition more than Kavanagh which gives Jennings's poem more texture and interest. Although there are similarities in the language used by both poets, the imagery they use is very different. The effect is that it makes a great meaning in the poem and also that it adds feelings. ...read more.

Conclusion

One similar thing is that both poems do not have a regular rhyming pattern. This adds a serious tone to the poem because regular rhyme builds up a pattern which then leads up to a type of tone, but also suggests that it is a more spontaneous true emotion. However, the main difference there is, is that the rhythm in both poems is fairly steady, but Kavanagh's poems uses longer lines and seems more solemn, but also a bit more spontaneous because it is not as structured. Here, the effect on the reader is that the build of the regular rhythm constructs a solemn tone on the poem. In this paragraph I will be talking about the tone used by both poets. Jennings's poem uses religious referencing, for example, on the 1st line of 1st stanza there is, "You died as quietly as your spirit moved". But the tone Jennings uses is not full of grief but has a solemn tone. However, Kavanagh's poem has reminiscence of a past life. The poem is also full of vivid memories. Kavanagh uses 'ever-day' simple images in her poem which makes it imaginative. Finally, the poem has serious, sad and personal tone. There are a few similar and different things between both poems. One similar thing is that both poets have created a solemn tone in their poems through the imagery and the rhythm they have used. The tone is also suitable for the subject on both cases. ...read more.

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