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Comparing and Contrasting Poetry

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Introduction

Comparing and Contrasting Poetry Everyone has to deal with love. It can be in many different forms: emotional, spiritual, physical or intellectual. However, with love comes loss. It is so ironic that with the most beautiful and unique feeling comes such pain, loneliness and suffering. Losing someone can be the most traumatic situation some of us experience. Whether they die or love dies. The four poems I have studied have helped me to recognise this. 'Funeral Blues' is a poem written by WH Auden. It is about him losing his lover. His poem shows intimate and intense feelings. The dominant feeling that his very own world is dead. The first line is direct and attention grabbing. 'Stop', sums up the whole poem. He wants the world to stop all together. There is no need for the world to go on now - his partner is dead. He is expressing that he wants to be cut off from the world. His lover had died and so has he. Although he is not physically dead, his emotions have been crushed and his life has crumbled. Throughout the poem, the tone is solemn and sombre; 'He Is Dead'. It comes through in the poem that he is extremely lonely and is in an initial state of denial. It is almost as if he wants to die too. He wants time to stop. He sees no reason for the world to go on. WH Auden talks of strong symbolic images as if they were some sort of 'set'. ...read more.

Middle

This poem is about the positive influences that loved ones can leave with you when they pass on. This can be compared to 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison, in the sense that they have both lost their mothers. However, it can be in contrast to 'Praise song for my mother' because it is about how the death of a loved one can lead to naivety and suffering. When a loved one passes away, we are all at first in a complete state of disbelief. We initially refuse to believe the truth. When we finally realise that they are gone, we grieve and are left in a state of emotional pain and suffering. 'Long Distance', is about how Harrison's father copes with the death of his wife. The title is ambiguous. It can be linked with the idea of a 'long distance telephone call' or someone being far away. 'Though my mother was already two years dead, Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas.' We immediately get the idea of the main theme of the poem; denial and hope. His father is still in a state of shock and will not accept that she is dead. He obviously still has the hope that she will return home, one-day. Most people go through this phase so it is not strange to us. Although we know in our hearts that they are gone, we long to see their face again. Harrison is telling the story of his dad. The last stanza gives us a psychological insight into how Tony Harrison feels towards the way his father acts upon the death of his mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes the last stanza most effective in getting across her true feelings. Although her love has broken her heart so much, that it is practically visible; if she could start from the beginning, she would. However, she states that she would have distanced herself and tried to have cared less. 'But from a distance... wanted more and cared less' It is because of all these powerful images throughout the poem, that it comes across visual and graphic. It is at this last stanza, that we get her true inner feeling. Out of all the poems, Angelou and Nichols, conjure up the most interesting and vivid images in my mind. Angelou creates the most interestingly and intense 'negative' images; the heart 'leaking' and 'dismantling'. In a way, it is quite disturbing. While Nichols creates 'positive' images of life; 'water' and 'the sun'. I think that the meaning of the poem is not to hide your true feelings. Although Angelou is so distraught, she still admits to loving her partner. This is the one message that comes across most strongly in all four poems: if you have love for someone - do not hide it. Tell the world that you care about that person. Love is a feeling or emotions that we express the most positively. If someone you love dies or the love itself dies, most people are distraught. Love is one emotion that most people rarely conceal. All of these poems have taught me to let people know how I feel about them and value the time I spend with them. One day, they will eventually pass away and I will never get to tell them how I truly feel. 2 1 Claire Bones ...read more.

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