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How love is presented differently in various poems

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Select three or four poems and explain and compare how the theme of love is presented and explored The oxford dictionary defines the over-used word 'love' as 'a strong feeling of affection'. The poems that we studied all refer the word 'love' however they explore the different dimensions of love. In 'A Subaltern's Love Song' love is presented as an excited energy between two lovers. On the contrast, "One Flesh' is about the emptiness of a love 'grown cold'. The types of love presented in the poems explore very controversial views yet are all very meaningful and have a sense of truth to them. This essay shall examine how the various poets have presented the idea of love between lovers and will compare how love is presented in each poem. Hopefully, through the comparison this essay will be able to distinguish the different dimensions of 'love'. 'A Subaltern's Love Song' by John Betjeman demonstrates very positive imagery of 'love'. The poem contains eleven quatrains, which are a traditional form of English love ballads. Each quatrain follows a rhyming scheme of AABB, which creates a sense of certainty for the reader as it becomes quite predictable. The full rhyme also makes it psychologically satisfying for the reader so it creates a happy atmosphere just through its rhyming scheme. The sense of certainty suggests a healthy love between the Subaltern and Miss J. ...read more.


All of the images Armitage has built go against the traditional meaning of a happy, healthy love. Armitage creates tension by having a line break between the stanzas signifying a time break, unlike 'subaltern's love song' where quatrains a very predictable and upbeat. The line breaks emphasises the un-healthiness. The second stanza begins with "O the unrivalled stench of branded skin". The letter 'O' is a very old fashioned way of showing an emotional response, which sets a time frame for this poem. This reaction takes place when Armitage hands the girl the burning 'blades', which intensifies the girl's negative reaction. The adjective 'unrivalled' suggests to the reader that Armitage's actions cannot be erased meaning the girl has no escape. Armitage uses sensory language in the word 'stench', which allows the reader to have a clearer understanding of the disgusting smell his evil action has caused. The connotations of the word 'stench' are extremely unpleasant. This emphasises how evil Armitage's plan really was as he was able to create hell out of a normal day. Lastly, the word 'branded' creates the idea of possession like he is marking her. The 'brand' also creates the idea of commitment because it is permanent. A possessive love is very unhealthy and therefore is not a good type of love. In 'A Subaltern's Love Song" Betjeman displays the idea of love where a couple are both madly in love with one other, "her father's euonymus shines as we walk, and swing past the summer house, buried in talk". ...read more.


but as the poem carries on he starts to relate it to much bigger things until he eventually leads to the relation with the universe. This really emphasizes the amount of pain and grief Auden has gone through. The very last sentence of the poem does not fit the overall rhythm, "For nothing now can ever come to any good." This suggests to the reader that Auden has given up caring about anything good in the world. He has given up with the rhythm of the poem as he has realized that nothing else is important without his lover being with him. The overall theme of love throughout the poem has been extremely intensified as being great sorrow and causing lots of pain. In conclusion, each of the three poems we studied explores a very meaningful idea of 'love'. 'A Subaltern's Love Song' presents love as being exciting and joyous, whereas 'I Am Very Bothered' presents love as being possessive and abhorrent. Lastly, 'Stop All The Clocks, Cut Off The Telephone' demonstrates love as being full of anguish and tragedies. Although all three of these poems explore the very different dimensions of 'love' they prove that 'love' is not always 'a strong feeling of affection' but can actually be full of sadness and can be quite threatening. Therefore, from the three poems the reader can see that 'love' is not always a positive and that it is an extremely powerful emotion. Alice Bocking English, Miss Wilkins ...read more.

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