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'Compare and Contrast the way in which the poets of 'Funeral Blues' and 'First Love' portray their experiences of love.

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Introduction

'Compare and Contrast the way in which the poets of 'Funeral Blues' and 'First Love' portray their experiences of love. Both poets emphasise and depict the agony and discomfort of love. Auden is utterly distraught due to the loss of his romantic other and because of the immense pain he is suffering he wants everyone else to tolerate the same anguish. Phrases such as 'Stop the clocks' and 'Cut off the telephone' suggest the narrator is demanding the whole world to stop and listen to him. He wants the world to share his grief. He uses strong negative imperative verbs such as, 'Stop' and 'Cut off' to portray his vituperate anger. Similarly, in 'First Love,' Romeo is portrayed as tormentry. This is shown in the line, 'I ne'er was struck.' The verb 'struck' implies ambiguity and that experiencing love is terrible. Moreover in the sentence, 'With love so sudden and so sweet.' Sibilance is used, which creates a sense that love is ominous, dark and a form of an untreatable illness. In contrast in 'Funeral Blues' Auden is in agony because of the loss of his loved one and used aural effects to convey this throughout the poem. ...read more.

Middle

The lines used to show this are, 'I could not see a single thing,' and 'And took my eyesight quite away.' These two examples convey the point that love is blind and the speaker has no control over who he adores. The tone used here is therefore melodramatic and obsessive. Both poets seem to be writing intimately and both narratives are written in first person. 'First Love' explains the importance of love and the depressing tone it brings with it, whereas 'Funeral Blues' is all about the speaker and his obsessive physical response. Moreover, both Auden and Clare portray their intense love and how this takes effect on their feelings, which have such sudden swings between extremes. In 'Funeral Blues,' Auden opens up by stating his needs in a melodramatic way. In the third stanza he states how much his significant other means to him by repetitively listing all he meant. The last line of the poem however is very negative showing after all that the narrator has been through he is giving up. The narrator's sudden change in expression he moves from making wild orders then relating a sudden outburst of his emotions in the centre of the poem which creates a break in the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a great amount of juxtaposition used with the term 'forever' and the way in which this is put into comparison with the imagery towards death and constant negative and dull melodramatic language. Alternatively in 'First Love' Clare is much more positive of the love conveyed. This is shown in the line, 'Are flowers the winter's choice? is loves bed always snow?' These two rhetorical questions show how confused he is and this depicts that he is much happier here and he is also seen as speaking in a melodramatic tone. 'Not love's appeal to know' is another statement in which Clare makes which implies that he is positive and that it is arresting him. On the other hand the speaker in 'Funeral Blues' states that love has taken toll over him and has effected in ways which cannot be put right. This is evident in the line, 'For nothing now can ever come to any good.' The harsh sounds used suggest about pain and that he wishes everyone around him to suffer with him. The melodramatic tone conveys the negative last tine depicting that there is no hope and that Auden has given up. Also the use of the plosive alliteration makes the harsh sounds depict how nothing is now left for the narrator. ...read more.

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