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Compare Lore by R.S. Thomas and Woman Work by Maya Angelou. How do the poets show their attitude to life and work in their writing?

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Introduction

Compare "Lore" by R.S. Thomas and "Woman Work" by Maya Angelou. How do the poets show their attitude to life and work in their writing? "Lore" by R.S. Thomas and "Woman Work" by Maya Angelou, both display the poets' attitude towards life and work in their writings. These feelings are portrayed through the characters in the poems. R.S. Thomas' is the more optimistic, Maya Angelou's is the more pessimistic. But they explore both pessimism and optimism. R.S. Thomas' poem is about an isolated white Welsh hill farmer, who has survived the "treachery of the seasons". Maya Angelou's poem is about an African American cotton picker who is not in anyway isolated but certainly feels that way. I think the woman feels this way because she knows of luxuries she will never have. In my opinion Maya Angelou shows her attitude to life in this poem because she feels isolated in life. However, Job Davies, the man in "Lore" doesn't feel isolated because he does not know of these luxuries, he is more than content with the little he has. ...read more.

Middle

"Lore" has five stanzas, all are quatrains, all lines are roughly the same in size. Nature plays a big part in both of the poems, "Shine on me, sunshine/Rain on me,rain" and "Dawn found me" are only two of many examples of natural imagery. I think this reflects that both poets enjoy nature and it plays a big part in their lives as well as in the characters. Farmers by the very nature of their work have to work in natural surroundings. Job's love for nature is obvious in "Lore". The image of floating contrasts hugely with the "storm", it is not possible to float across the sky in a storm, this shows the woman's desperation to get away from it all in "Woman Work". "Woman Work" has a fast rhythm in the first stanza but it then dies down in the rest of the stanzas. Instead of punctuation, words such as, "Then" and "I've" are used to slow the rhythm down in the first stanza. In the first stanza there are rhyming couplets, in stanzas two, four and five, lines two and four rhyme, ABCB. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion these poems are trying to teach the reader how hard or simple life is. Each poet offers a different view of life and work. I think Maya Angelou shows strong feelings towards life when she writes "Cover me with white/Cold icy kisses". The new line just after "white" emphasises, in my opinion, that Maya Angelou wants to end racism and racial hatred. The woman is craving not to be discriminated against. She may even want to be white so she could get a better job than being a cotton picker or a slave. Out of both poems, I like "Woman Work" more because it shows how hard life is for African American women. The way it is written makes the reader sympathetic towards the woman in "Woman Work". It makes the reader think how hard life can be for certain individuals. It moved me how the poem was written; the woman could not own anything; she had no hope; her only solace was nature. "Lore" however shows optimism, it shows elderly people can still enjoy life. Job's work keeps him fit, he enjoys his work. The poem shows a simple life for a simple person. ...read more.

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