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First Love' and 'How Do I Love Thee?' are both very personal experiences as they are written in the first person narrative. I believe that the two poets

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Introduction

"Love Is An Abstract Emotion And Can Produce Conflicting Feelings." Love is an abstract emotion, untouchable even though it dwells in our hearts. It can have many faces creating conflicting feelings; yet each time it is immeasurable and its reach limitless. Love can be radiant and a source of joy and happiness for the possessor, altering ones life to such an extent that it can never be the same again. However, love's path is not always smooth for it can produce as much pain and sorrows as it does happiness. Even though it may create mixed feelings, love itself is not always the same. It can vary from person to person and the emotions that it creates within people also differ. We can acknowledge this through the first two poems which I have studied. Although they both convey feelings of intense love, John Clare in 'First Love' attempts to show the doubtful stages of love at first sight, whereas Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet in 'How Do I Love Thee?' portrays the intensity of her long-term love in a very celebratory manner. 'First Love' and 'How Do I Love Thee?' are both very personal experiences as they are written in the first person narrative. I believe that the two poets, Clare and Browning, use this tense to create a greater impact on the reader. One example of first person narrative is as follows: "I ne'er was struck before that hour" (Clare) "I love thee to the depth, breadth and width..." (Browning) They appeal more directly to the reader in a way that would not have been possible if the poems were written in second or third person narrative. We know this from words such as 'I' and 'My' which are used by both poets throughout their poems. In 'First Love', Clare tries to use concrete ideas to express love, as love is a conceptual emotion. ...read more.

Middle

Rossetti structures her poem so that it slits into two octaves. 'My heart is like...' In the first octave, Rossetti uses repetition and similes to emphasise the state of her heart. She does this by repeating the above quote three times and each time she uses a different simile, in order to stress her feelings. 'My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a watered shoot' The images used in the first octave are all associated with nature. The images that prevail are of idyllic perfection; therefore, they embody the state of her heart and that her heart can be no better. From this, we can recognize the joyous and radiant feelings felt by Rossetti. 'My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me.' Rossetti delays telling the reader the cause for her joy until the very end of the first octave, in lines seven and eight. In this way, Rossetti adds tension and suspense to her poem; this technique is very effective because it grasps the reader's attention, so that they are encouraged to read on. In the second octave, the poet stops using repetition and begins to discuss her emotions in a different way. 'Raise me a dais of silk and down' As we can see, Rossetti starts to use imagery of rich and rare materials.. 'Hang it with vair and purple dyes' Rossetti uses the colour purple because purple symbolises royalty. 'Carve it in doyes and pomegranates' Rossetti also tries to use exotic imagery by using imagery such as pomegranates in order to add a great and glamorous affect. As we can see from the above three quotes, Rossetti is demanding for highly-classed, rich and exotic objects for her love because she believes her love deserves the best of everything; she wants to be decolant and luxurious. Moreover, Rossetti uses very imperative and commanding words such as 'Raise', 'Hang' and 'Carve', in order to show the grandness she feels and the sense of power that has filled her because of this love. ...read more.

Conclusion

'How Do I Love Thee?' and 'A Birthday' are both very similar as they express love in a very celebratory way and boast about their feelings towards their love. 'How Do I Love Thee?' regards her love to be greater than God whereas 'A Birthday' could be said to be about the intense love for God. On the other hand, we have 'My Last Duchess' and 'a Woman To Her Lover' are the total opposite of each other. 'My Last Duchess' is of the love the Duke has for secular things and for control. It is a love that many people consider as a negative thing and through this poem, we realise the consequences such love can lead to. 'A Woman To Her Lover' on the other hand is different from the norm because it doesn't state that 'I will do anything my love wants me to do' but, she tells him that 'if you don't treat me properly then there is no me and you'. Basically, this proves the existence of equality in love and that not everyone will do everything their lover demands of them. We can see how dissimilar one love is to another and that every person experiences love in their own way and through their own perspective. This has been proven by the five poems that I have studied, 'First Love', How Do I Love Thee?', 'A Birthday', My Last Duchess' and 'A Woman To Her Lover'. Overall, I personally prefer 'My Last Duchess' to be the most successful poem from the five I have studied. The reason as to why I chose this poem above all is because the poet, Robert Browning, structures 'My Last Duchess' in a continuous dramatic monologue. Also, the poem has various symbolic meanings to it which can be clearly understood by reading between the lines. One of such examples is the idea of Neptune taming his sea-horse which entirely reflects the character of the Duke who also wanted to tame his wife in a similar way. Taiba Gultasib Pre-1914 Love Poetry English Coursework 1 ...read more.

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