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Comparing Uphill by Christina Rosetti with Love by George Herbert.

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Introduction

Compare And Contrast by Jack du Pille Comparing Uphill by Christina Rosetti with Love by George Herbert. These two poems share certain characteristics but are so very different in many ways. Both poems are extended metaphors and share Christianity as their underlying themes. Another unifying factor is that both poems portray people endeavouring to reach salvation in heaven through analogy. Both poems describe a religious journey, a pilgrimage, one person venturing into unknown territory and displaying their faith in God, asking for his help, reassurance or his forgiveness. In both cases the people we are reading about trying to reach heaven succeed, the 'innkeeper' mercifully allowing the pilgrim into heaven and 'love' giving the soul unification with him. Obviously love and the innkeeper are representations of God and while we don't actually come across the innkeeper in Rosetti's poem, who else would allow access to the inn other than the innkeeper? ...read more.

Middle

While both flow smoothly in your mind when you read them, 'Love' has phrases which are more powerful than those that are found in Rosetti's poem 'Love bade me welcome'. Uphill is the poem of a pilgrim, journeying to reach the inn at the end of life's toils. This pilgrim is striving for admittance to this inn and though unsure of whether they will be permitted to enter, put all their faith in the promise of a place. The title itself implies a struggle that gets harder and harder but eventually ends. We read the pilgrims worried questions and doubts comforted in a curious question: answer: question: answer format. I liken the pilgrim mentioned in the poem to your soul, battling through life and if worthy, reaching salvation in your 'travel-sore' state. Rosetti's soul seems hesitant and unsure right up to its last line. However the pilgrim's questions are in no particular order, merely arranged by the worried mind of the pilgrim. ...read more.

Conclusion

Where Herbert has three stanzas each 6 lines long, Rosetti has four stanzas and quatrains, making the two rhyming schemes different. The first line of Uphill's verse rhymes with the third, while the second rhymes with the fourth line. In Herbert's poem it works the same except that Love has two extra lines, and the last two lines of Love rhyme. This is what the rhyming scheme of Rosetti and Herbert respectively go like: A-B-A-B and A-B-A-B-C-D. So while both poems strive to depict a religious journey of some kind in as straightforward terms as possible, it is quite obvious that Love is less simple and in my opinion more pleasing to read than Rosetti's Uphill. Both have beauty yet Herbert's seems more elegant in its complicity, Uphill being almost so simplistic as to call it a child's bedtime story. I favour Love as a more refined poem, finding it more pleasing to read than Uphill, with more details and charming phrases. ...read more.

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