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Compare how love is presented in three poems in the Poetry Anthology.

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Introduction

Compare how love is presented in three poems in the Poetry Anthology. Plena Timoris by Thomas Hardy, Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe and Piano by D. H. Lawrence are all poems that explore the theme of love, although they may seem very different at first glance. Plena Timoris tells of two young lovers' relationship as it ends, while Refugee Mother and Child shows the strong bond between a mother and her child and Piano takes the poet down the road of remembrance into his childhood. As many readers would know, love can be a painful thing. However, the first stanza of Plena Timoris portrays a seemingly perfect and flawless love of a man and woman. The poet constructs the setting to be that of a typical love poem by using the images of "parapet-stone" and "the moon in its southing directly blent / its silver with their environment", the moon being a symbol of romance and secret meetings with lovers in the 19th century, the time of the poem. The alliteration of the "l" sound in "lovers looked" and "laughed and leant" suggests that the lovers are harmonious and at one with each other and their surroundings as the "l" sound is one that is soft, smooth, flowing and not at all abrupt. ...read more.

Middle

Refugee Mother and Child conveys the negative of the situation it portrays in extreme. There is death and disease all around and "the air was heavy with odours / of diarrhoea...", but in contrast to what I would have expected, death brought the mother and child closer together. The poet mentions how things would have been different "in another life", and future conditionals in the past tense such as "would have been" and "would have to forget" serve to separate the mother from the alternative lifestyle that we in the wealthy portion of the world take for granted. As a result of the separation, the act of "part[ing] it (the child's hair" becomes greatly significant as it would be a "daily act of no consequence" in the alternative life, but instead, it was as though she was "putting flowers on a tiny grave". This image that the poem builds up to is a final representation of death as it is often seen at funerals, showing that the mother is preparing her child for his death as she parts her child's hair, making it perfect as she would do had he been dead. In this, death brings them together as the mother wants more time with her son, and treasures the physical contact with him as she parts his hair "carefully". ...read more.

Conclusion

The three poems all deal with the universal themes of love and suffering - Plena Timoris on the loss of love between the two young lovers, and Piano on the remembrance of a love in the past. However, as a reader, Refugee Mother and Child is the one that has the most impact on me because of the familiar hyper-realistic photojournalistic images, that the media frequently show, that appear throughout the poem. This draws out sympathy, guilt and grievance from the reader as many of us in the wealthy portion of the world do not do a significant amount to help, and because we are privileged which makes it hard for us to imagine the circumstance, the resilient love of the mother for her dying son is even more moving, dealing with the themes of love and suffering most powerfully out of the three poems. Of course, Plena Timoris and Piano are also effective in portraying love, but in different guises from that in Refugee Mother and Child. However, the poems have a point in common in that all three poems also movingly illustrate the pain and suffering that is felt through the painful loss of love, which we all hope will never happen but as shown by the poems, inevitably does. This in itself unites the poems, showing the love depicted in each as the same, underneath the surface, and universal. ?? ?? ?? ?? IGCSE English Literature Poetry Coursework Assignment 1 ...read more.

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