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Comparisons and Contrasts of how different poet's Past experiences have shaped their lives.

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Comparisons and Contrasts of how different poet's Past experiences have shaped their lives In poetry it is possible to discover what effects a poet has experienced and how these have shaped their lives. This essay will look deeper into the effects that the topic of the poems has had on the poet's life and the way they have been changed by them by studying and analysing certain aspects of the poem. The three poems that I have chosen to study are; "The Sick Equation" by Brian Patten, "Once Upon a Time" by Gabriel Okara and " Long Distance" by Tony Harrison. I chose these three poems in particular because they all focus on different topics that have affected the poet's life due to their background or experiences with the topic and because they are my three favourite poems. "The Sick Equation" by Tony Harrison is about the poet's past experiences with relationships regarding people that he knows have ended in divorces or separations, causing him (Brian Patten) to wish to remain single due to the misfortune he has seen in relationships. In the poem Brian Patten tries to use mathematical equations to explain this feeling that relationships never last. ...read more.


This poem deals with how society has changed over the years by using various examples. Within the poem, the narrator comments on how cold hearted and two faced the world that he lives in has become, for example, in the second stanza how "they used to shake hands with their hearts", meaning that in the African culture that he grew up in, a handshake was genuine and it is also the same with, "they used to laugh with their hearts," and this is an example of how two faced the world has become. He then goes on to describe the Western handshake in the same stanza, "Now they shake hands without hearts while their left hands search my empty pockets. What he is saying here is that all the handshake is based on greed for money and hasn't come from the heart, which is where it should come from. This poem is very similar in terms of how Gabriel Okara and Brian Patten both dislike the world they currently live in. However Okara seems to be more effected by people actions towards him whereas Patten is aggrieved at how people have acted to each other, (by not keeping a relationship). ...read more.


Their poems are similar in the way that they are both upset because of their experiences with specific people whereas Gabriel Okara's poem talks about his experiences with people in general. However, unlike Tony Harrison is "Long Distance" Brian Patten seems to be quite bitter about his experiences in his earlier life. Also Brian Patten and Tony Harrison's experiences seem to be with people close to him whereas Gabriel Okara's appears to be with the world in general. In conclusion to this essay I think that Tony Harrison in Long Distance is the poet whose experiences have affected them the most mostly because he has not been to get over what happened to him. However, I also think that Brian Patten is the person who has been shaped by his experiences because he says he wasted the majority of his life on his previous beliefs. It was almost too late before he could correct his mistakes and he had to spend most of his life in solitude before he could finally live happily. Also I don't really think that Gabriel Okara is too upset by his experiences and that there has been too much ill pleasure because he still meets knew people and so it possible to make new friends. ...read more.

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