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Compare and contrast Preludes by T.S Elliot and Vitae Lampada by Sir Henry Newton.

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Compare and contrast Preludes by T.S Elliot and Vitae Lampada by Sir Henry Newton. By Kenny Yang Yong Reading both poems for the first time, there seemed to be no distinct or even vague similarities between the two poems, Preludes, by T.S Elliot and Vitae Lampada by Sir Henry Newton. However, after reading each thoroughly a few more times and carefully evaluating them, several key similarities and as always, differences, began to reveal themselves. Both Preludes as well as Vitae Lampada begines with a time introductory statement. "There's a breathless hush in the close tonight." From Vitae Lampada, and "The winter evening settles down" from Preludes. Both these sentences inform us of the time, a sort of evening, just after dark. The very next sentences from each poem are also similar. "Ten to make and a match to win" and "With smells of steaks in passageways". These sentences are written by the poets to set a scene, as one would set a scene in a drama play, but in poetry, with words. ...read more.


The next few lines" The showers beat on broken blinds and chimney pots." Once again an image of a badly maintained place, with rain beating on broken pots that are left behind. On the whole, a negative image. Vitae Lampada, is also setting in a negative image, an image of lost hope and despair. "The sand of the desert is sodden red -Red with the wreck of a square that broke;" A square, in this case is referring to a formation of troops. Sir Henry Newbolt is comparing the aspect of war, with a game of cricket and this extended metaphor has worked exceedingly well in managing to contrast and yet bring the two closer together. Sodden red suggests that a great many soldiers have died and their blood spilled across the battlefield. The next two lines, add deeper to the feeling of despair. "The gatling's jammed and the colonel dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke" The soldiers that Sir Henry Newbolt is referring to here is not in a bright situation, with their guns jammed, and their leader (colonel) ...read more.


The second stanza is an image of despair, but here, the final touch to the sense of patriotism is added. "Bear through life like a torch in flame, and falling fling to the host behind." This sentence carries a great deal of meaning to the main theme of the poem. Bear through life like a torch in flame suggests that these troops, instead of hopelessness, now carry a symbol, a beacon of light. The torch, could be as a baton is passed on in a game of relay. "As falling fling to the host behind". When a soldier falls in battle, his effort is not lost, not wasted, but instead, passed on to those behind, as they march forward, with the flaming torch. These two poems have indeed, very different ideas and themes, but they both have several things in common. For a start, both Preludes and Vitae Lampada use time description to allow the reader a window in which to see the rest of the poem. Both are describing, metaphorically, aspects of life. And they both, to an extent, use negative images to describe, to paint their visual images to the reader. ...read more.

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