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I have been analysing several poems recently they are: When We Two Parted by Lord Byron, First Love by John Clare, Villegiature by Edith Nesbitt, Remember Christina Rossetti and How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barratt Bro

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Introduction

How do the following 19th century poets deal with the theme of love? I have been analysing several poems recently they are: 'When We Two Parted' by Lord Byron, 'First Love' by John Clare, 'Villegiature' by Edith Nesbitt, 'Remember' - Christina Rossetti and 'How Do I Love Thee' by Elizabeth Barratt Browning. In this essay I intend to go into detail about how these poets explore the theme of love and the different elements of this emotion. The poets write from both the female and male perspective and write about their own accounts of love. Whilst some write about the utter joy love brings, a number of others tell us of the dark depressing feelings at the end of a relationship. The first poem I am going to write about is When We Two Parted, Lord Byron. Byron was infamous for his controversial relationships, once involving his own cousin. The poem is a personal account of grief resulting from the end of a secret, passionate relationship. Byron uses images of sadness to demonstrate the heart-rending emotions. 'In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted' These lines emphasise his feeling of grief. Why silence? It could be because it is a forbidden love and that is the reason why they have to cry in silence. The word "tears" clarify it was a painful loss. Also he uses the phrase 'Half broken-hearted' because his heart was broken but her heart wasn't. The poet uses emotive language to communicate the feeling of loss. 'To sever for years' He uses the word 'sever' to highlight that this was not a passive separation but a reluctant one. Also it gives the impression that there isn't a good chance of this relationship being rekindled. The woman's character is negative. 'Colder thy kiss' This is evidence that her feelings towards him grew cold and she loved him no more, breaking the poet's heart and therefore the poet describes her in a negative way. ...read more.

Middle

No words pass between the two but they seem to understand each other. 'Words from my eyes did start They spoke as chords do from the string' This shows how deep and true their feelings are for each other if he feels they are on the same wave length whilst being speechless. A change of mood happens in this stanza and is expressed by rhetorical questions. 'Are flowers the winter's choice? Is love's bed always snow?' These rhetorical questions suggest that the man is surprised that he has fallen in love and didn't expect it all, as he says it is like flowers in winter, unexpected to say the least. This also adds to the purity of the emotion. In this poem the woman is constantly referred to as sweet. 'I never saw so sweet a face' The poet uses adjectives such as sweet, suggesting purity and innocence. Which in turn describes the two's emotions for each other. A metaphor is used to show his heart has been lost and will never feel the same way again. 'My heart has left its dwelling-place And can return no more' This powerful imagery of the heart is used is at the end of the poem where he suggests things can never be the same again. This signifies that in Clare's everyday life, he will have lost the will to love anybody else, because this particular woman took his heart, she will have his heart forever; he therefore cannot be healed. He will be scarred for life. The structure of 'First Love' consists of a simple verse structure and rhyme which indicates the simplicity of the two lover's emotions for one another. When comparing 'When We Two Parted' and 'First Love' there is an obvious difference as John Clare tells us of the start of a relationship whilst Lord Byron goes into detail about the end of a secret relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are trying to convince her lover that they are loved more than anyone else and anyone before. Elizabeth Barratt Browning continuously repeats the phrase 'I love thee'. This repetition builds intensity. The poet compares her feelings to words associated with religion. 'For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.' The fact that her emotions are being compared to religion shows how powerful her love must be, seeing as religion was taken a lot more seriously during those times. The poet also shows that the persons love does not fade during the day, it is strong always. 'I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light' These lines demonstrate the strength of the love, the poet is saying that it doesn't matter if it is day or night, the feelings shall not change. The poet goes to the extreme of saying that if either of the two lovers die, the person whose feelings have been questioned shall remain constant. 'I shall but love thee better after death.' This line ends the poem and makes the reader think that the person who questioned must be satisfied with the response from their lover, as it demonstrates the integrity of their love. In conclusion, I believe that after analysing all the poems, I have reached the verdict that the poets deal with the theme of love in many different ways. John Clare uses description and emotion to express the beauty of love at first sight. Elizabeth Barratt Browning gives a list of explanations answering the question in the title How Do I Love Thee. Christina Rossetti uses a sonnet to explore both love and loss. Edith Nesbit expresses the theme of love and the intensity of the emotion after time. Lord Byron describes the feelings at the end of a relationship and uses cold images to describe sadness and gloom. From these poems I have learnt that love is an extremely powerful emotion and that it can be felt in many different ways, for example passion, sadness, bitterness and frustration. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matt Molyneux ...read more.

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