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Comparison of 'Cousin Kate' and 'Human Interest'

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Introduction

Comparison of 'Cousin Kate' and 'Human Interest' In this essay I will compare the two different poems 'Human Interest' and 'Cousin Kate'. They are written by different poets, 'Human Interest' is written by Carol Ann Duffy, whom was born in 1955 which means it is modern twentieth century language. 'Cousin Kate' is written by Christina Rossetti, who was born in 1830 and died in 1984, making this pre-twentieth century language. The narrator in 'Human Interest' is male, he is locked up in prison for stabbing his allegedly unfaithful partner. The narrator in 'Cousin Kate' is a simple country maiden whom is contented until falling in love and then being rejected by a rich lord, father of her son, for her more attractive cousin. In the first two verses of 'Cousin Kate' the narrator is introduced. 'I was a cottage maiden' verse one line one, I think the 'was' indicates that since being a cottage maiden some incident has changed this status. It also describes her past hard working life in the country and her leisure time spent with 'cottage mates'. She did not find herself very pretty, 'not mindful I was fair' verse one line four, Although a lord contradicts these thoughts, he showed her compliments and began to pay her attention. ...read more.

Middle

'If you stood where I stand' verse five line seven. She gets aggressive and says to Kate that not only would she not have 'taken his hand' she would have 'spit in his face' verse 5 line seven. The narrator is telling Kate she should have been disgusted with the lords proposal. The rhyming pattern still remains similar with rhyming every other lines. Verse six of 'Cousin Kate' is a flash of hope for the narrator as she is showing off to Kate that although she may not have the lord's hand in marriage she has his son, 'a gift you have not got' verse six line one. Although her son has labelled her an 'outcast' is shows that she treasures him by calling him a gift. She is also reassured that the lord could one day need an heir for his land and would come back for his son. 'your father would give lands for one to wear his coronet' verse 6 lines seven and eight. The words 'give lands' show she is hoping to get rich when he comes back and implies that they are economically struggling now. The pattern remains the same and language style stays similar. The narrator seems less insecure in this verse. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes both poems very personal and close to the feelings of the narrator. Both poems include betrayal, although in 'Cousin Kate' the girl is betrayed by her lover and cousin whereas in 'Human Interest' it is just his lover. Both poems are filled with regret and bitterness. Both poems narrators have been hurt by someone close or that they love and it has changed their lives. Although the poems do have similarities they are also very different. The writing styles are contrasting, 'Cousin Kate' is old English language whereas 'Human Interest' is written with slang. The way in which the poems are written or patterns are also very different as Rossetti writes with a less effective, in my opinion, flowly rhyming technique. Carol Ann Duffy writes with mildly rhyming sharp and punchy effect, which I believe is more dramatic. I think overall 'Human Interest' with its shocking language and storyline is more effective. Although I prefer this poem I do like how the feelings of the country maiden in 'Cousin Kate' are put across as they are much more descriptive as Rossetti uses imagery words such as 'love writ in sand'. These have a more indirect approach but the romantic language is able to express feeling in a different but more descriptive manor. ...read more.

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