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Comparison between two Romantic poems

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Introduction

Comparison between two Romantic poems The two poems we have studied this term are 'To Autumn' and ' To a Skylark'. They use all the tools a writer can use like similes, metaphors, personification and juxtaposition to create I think, some of the best pieces of poetry I have read to this date. They are both crammed full of information and in both, the poets are in awe of what they are describing. This is a very nice touch as it makes you feel closer to the poem and therefore you can relate to the feelings that the poets are feeling as they write these poems. They also use large amounts of imagery and to great effect to describe their subject matter and this in turn makes nature seem more uplifted, greater than we know. Both poems are very compelling and full of description of the joys of nature. In both of these poems the main subject matter is nature and in both poems the poets romanticise nature to make it seem higher and greater than we can ever know. In both the poets give a little twist to their subject matter. Keats does this by making autumn seem a more homely season, not the season which you would normally associate with rain and falling leaves, instead he paints a totally different picture by showing the growing fruits of Autumn, the ripening fruits and the warmth that Autumn fills you with. This is also what Shelley does in "To a Skylark" as he gives the bird an almost spiritual quality "Blithe Spirit", rather than just describing the animal as he sees it. Instead of doing this, Shelley almost rises the Skylark above human understanding and makes it seem more important, greater than the human race. In both poems the poets try and raise the subject above and beyond what they really are; just nature. ...read more.

Middle

This is a link between this poem and "To Autumn" because in that poem Keats also describes autumn above what it truly is, romanticising it. Shelley also uses contradictions, opposites in this poem to create vivid images which overall change the tone of the poem by making it more mysterious and bewildering; "Like a cloud of fire. "The blue deep thou wingest." As you can see Shelley uses opposites in colour here, the reds against the blues to create a more vivid image of the Skylark, changing possibly from one thing to another. This is also what Keats does in "To autumn", he puts opposites in like the hardworking autumn in the first stanza who is striving to get things perfect, against the more laid back relaxing autumn in the second stanza who is just waiting for everything to come together. Overall this is pleasing because it gives us two sides to the character of nature, one relaxing, one in a constant activity. Where Keats personifies autumn, Shelley creates a spiritual image of the skylark. In "To a Skylark," he personifies the skylark as running above the clouds, which gives it an almost joyous tone as you can tell from this the Skylark is doing what it enjoys. In this poem Shelley also describes the Skylark as a joy, probably once again to uplift it above what its true form is. Here he says, "Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun." He is using this simile to make it sound like the skylark is just starting up in the world but yet he still has more knowledge than us. Shelley in the fourth stanza manages to heighten our imagination by describing the sound that the Skylark makes " Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight". Here I think Shelley is trying to appeal to different senses, and therefore overall make our imagination more vivid and clear. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally in "To a Skylark" Shelley describes his aspiration to arrive at the skylark's gift because he can't write poems that even compare to its songs and he also finishes by saying that if he was half as good as the Skylark then the world would pay attention to him. I think that this is a wonderful way to end his poem because he is emphasising his main point throughout the poem in this one last line. Saying that nature is misunderstood and that it is greater than humans truly understand and can ever understand. Overall I think that this is the main point from both these Romantic poems that nature is greater than we truly understand, and it is more beautiful than we can ever see and that we shouldn't take nature at face value, it has a deeper meaning. Overall I feel that both these poems we have studied are great pieces of Romantic poetry and are great testimonies to nature. Both poems I feel are trying to make people pay attention to nature and not take it for granted. In both poems both poets use great techniques like metaphors, alliteration; " dying day" and personification; "Aye where are they?" to get these points across. Personally my favourite part from both poems is where Shelley says in " To a Skylark," " Singing hymns unbidden, till the world is wrought to sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not." Here I believe Shelley is trying to make the point that the Skylark can enlighten the world with it's spontaneous songs, and that by singing it is bringing something new to the. Now this is a very powerful part of the poem as he is sort of saying that nature is very misunderstood and that it can bring a lot of joy across the world, which I think is a very true statement. Overall I think they both portrayed their poems in a very thorough and imaginative way and I thoroughly enjoyed studying and analysing both poems. ...read more.

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