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Discuss and compare To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and One Flesh by Elizabeth Jennings.

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Introduction

Alex Hayes 10CG Discuss and compare 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'One Flesh' by Elizabeth Jennings. In this essay I will discussing and comparing 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'One Flesh'. Both poems talk about love and passion but they tackle the subject in different ways. 'To His Coy Mistress' To his Coy Mistress" was written in 1650, 17th century. It is set in a metaphysical poetry tradition. It is basically about a man who is persuading his girlfriend to sleep with him. He is older than his girl friend and is trying to force her and persuade her to sleep with him as soon as possible. In those days they believed in a convention which was no sex before marriage In the first, third and fourth lines the 'w' sound is alliterated in 'we', 'which', 'way', 'walk' and 'would'. This sound helps the poem flow. Also on line four there is alliteration in 'long loves day' which gives a relaxed effect, 'long loves day' is also a metaphor for eternity spent in love. Also in line four Marvell says 'long loves day' the alliteration sound of the 'l' makes the poem seem more relaxed. ...read more.

Middle

dreaming of childhood' The last two lines show that he does not read the book and how the woman has 'her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead' this suggests troubles and shows how she cannot sleep. The next stanza starts with 'tossed up like flotsam' this is a simile for their marriage covered with debris. The second stanza also says 'how cool they lie' and that 'they hardly ever touch' and it they do it is like a religious confession. Next the phrase 'chastity faces them' means celibacy The first line of the final stanza begins with juxtaposition with the words 'apart' and 'close together'. 'Silence between them like a thread to hold' in the second line is a simile expressing tension. In the third line 'And not wind in. And time itself's a feather' shows how unaware the couple are of time. In the last two lines the writer reveals that the couple are her parents, 'my father and mother' and shows how there passion used to burn by saying 'whose fire, from which I came, has now grown cold'. Throughout each stanza caesuras are used in the middle of lines to create a pause to emphasize the separation affect. ...read more.

Conclusion

if One Flesh was a description of the couple in To His Coy Mistress who at one time with great energy made time hurry on and unnoticed they have grown old after years, and now their oneness now disintegrated "like flotsam." Though in a sense, time does separate Marvell and his mistress - clearly her coyness is because she doesn't want to be rushed into a physical affair - and Marvell at this stage hasn't got what he wants! Techniques in the poem- Both poems use imagery to show time as a feather, chariot and a journey, nature as rivers, jewels and feathers Both poems are from different ends of the spectrum, 'To His Coy Mistress' is before passion is indulged and 'One Flesh' is After passion has faded. The tone is different- in 'To His Coy Mistress' the tone is urgent and persuasive because the speaker has a mission but in 'One flesh it is cooler and observational as the speaker is outside the couple. I don't like either of the poems as I see them as boring and pointless but I would say I prefer One Flesh by Elizabeth Jennings as it is shorter and seems to make sense on the first read. ...read more.

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