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Compare and contrast at least three of the poems you have studied on the theme of love and loss; show in particular how the poets have used language and form to express these ideas.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast at least three of the poems you have studied on the theme of love and loss; show in particular how the poets have used language and form to express these ideas. 'How Do I Love Thee?' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and 'Remember' by Christina Rossetti are both sonnets sharing the theme of Love and Loss but approaching it from a different view. 'How Do I Love Thee' is a petrachian sonnet written by a famous poet of that time Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Born in 1806, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a female author in the mid 1800's. Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese" was published in two volumes titled Poems. "How do I love Thee?" is sonnet number XLIII from that work, published in 1850 (Browning 1). 'How Do I Love Thee?' expresses the theme of love in an undying manner. It portrays deep ethereal love that a woman has for her lover. This poem uses many poetic devices to express the perpetual love of the lover. It uses emotive language to depict the passion and depth of their love. 'Remember' is also a petrachian sonnet written by Christina Rossetti. Christina Rossetti (1830-94) is a passionate and powerful English Poet. She was a devout Anglican and lived the last fifteen years of her life as a recluse in her home. ...read more.

Middle

Browning's style seems to follow a chronological order of how she can love, as evident in "I love thee with a love I seemed to lose..." Browning must have loved before, if not she loves with a love she thought she had lost. Also, the fact that Browning writes that she loves with all her life and plans to love even more after she dies is a huge statement in support of her undying love (lines 12-14). Browning's creative style is a necessity and definitely adds to the creation of her strong purpose of love in this sonnet. Rossetti's sonnet commences in a totally different way to Browning's. Where the former starts off with the question, the latter actually gives us the essence of the whole sonnet in the first line. "Remember me when I am gone away" This line in itself makes us aware that the poem is about a woman trying to prepare her lover for her departure. The pureness and depth of her love is apparent to us in the next few lines. "...hold my hand, Nor I half turn..." These phrases expose the yearning she is expecting to experience when she is separated from her lover. She is already feeling the inability to make any physical contact and the desire to turn back but she knows she can't. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "How Do I Love Thee", Browning uses word choice as a method of portraying her message to the reader. "I Love thee with the passion put to use" is a strong descriptive sentence using distinctive word choice, to solidify the feelings of love. "Passion put to use", can only mean one thing, making full use of one's passion, which the reader feels as very strong love. Another example of Browning's strong word choice is in line two of the poem, "I love thee to the depth and breadth and height..." Browning doesn't just say "I love thee a lot", she paints a picture in the mind of the reader of an almost never-ending vastness of love. The adjectives put to use in line two, incorporate all aspects of the physical realm; up, down, and around, to truly impact the reader. The word choice put to use by Browning unlocks knew doors in the path readers take in the development of the poem. In 'Remember', Rossetti uses euphemism to add emotion to the poem. This takes on a great effective and gives the poem an almost surreal feeling. "Death" is once again referred to here but as "the silent land". The euphemism used here almost softens the blow of death. It's as if Rossetti is trying to portray a lover preparing her partner for her departure but want to do it gently. The atmosphere created by this technique is almost heavenly. ...read more.

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