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Comparitive ideas in poetry

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"It wasn't so much the theme or idea that interested me as the different ways different poets wrote." In what different ways did you find that different poets treated the same theme or idea? Refer to a range of poems and poets in your answer. From the study of various poems by Wilfred Owen, Grace Nichols, W.H. Auden, Gwen Harwood, Bruce Dawe, John Donne and Shakespeare, I found that there was a common theme of death dealt with by each poet. Human reactions to death such as grief, celebration and acceptance were concentrated on by the poets. They also explored the concept of death being a like sleep and also leading to some form of an afterlife or being part of the larger continuum of life. The poets all presented similar ideas effectively through the use of different literary techniques. The pace and structure of the poem as well as use of alliteration, consonance, sibilance, rhyme, metaphor and personification all enabled the poets to treat the theme of death. In "Stop all the clocks cut off the telephone" W.H. Auden successfully captures grief in a way which is common to all people. Auden establishes his grief for the loss of his lover from a domestic, urban, global and universal level with his word choice, including the ...read more.


The Creole diction forces a faster pace and with the positive language a bright and happy image is created in relation to death. The "blue sea dress" and "sun leaf's cool bless" evoke a positive image that contrasts sharply with the western belief of death being "cold" and "forlorn". The abundance of natural imagery "heat/hibiscus" and "her mother's sweetbreast" all collate to imply the completely natural normal occurrence that is death. Her choice of associating herself to her mother and people further back in time is a technique employed by Harwood in "Mother who gave me life". The "fat black woman" is said to be "In the bloom/ of her people's bloodrest" implying that Nichols finds comfort in the idea that an individual continues to exist in some form of an afterlife and that she is connected to thousands of people before her through blood. In "Mother who gave me life" Harwood links backwards in time through "your mother, and hers/ and beyond speech growing stranger" implying a time before the English language and in doing so celebrates women to pre-history. She also makes an evolutionary link between humans and monkeys. This greater evolutionary idea sets humans in place in the continuum of life suggesting that we have a place in the world and in death we become the sustenance for other life. ...read more.


Death being a sleep is a common idea evident in the poetry of Donne, Shakespeare and Owen. In Wilfred Owen's poem, "Asleep" he uses the title as an obvious indication that he believes death to be a sleep as the poem about death in war. "Futility" similarly expresses this idea emphatically with the soldiers' vain attempts to wake a seemingly sleeping but dead comrade. Just as Shakespeare's "Our revels are now ended", Owen's poems also suggest death as being merely a sleep. In the poetry of Grace Nichols, Gwen Harwood, Bruce Dawe, W.H. Auden, Wilfred Owen, Shakespeare and John Donne there is a strong common theme of death which all of the poets choose to address in different ways. Various poets demonstrated a similar idea that death whilst being a natural event should be openly grieved but also a joyous occasion in which a life should be celebrated. Another common theme was overcoming death through acceptance, and the comfort of the idea of an afterlife but also death being a sleep. The poets whilst handling alike themes and ideas used varying techniques in order to express such ideas. Through the use of alliteration, consonance, sibilance, rhyme, metaphor and personification as well as altering pace and structure of the poem they were able to effectively convey these ideas. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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