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Love and loss. The poems that I have chosen to compare and contrast in depth are A Woman to Her Lover by Christina Walsh, How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti.

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Introduction

Explore how love is presented in a variety of Pre-1914 poems In this essay I am going to investigate how several poems from Pre- 1914 convey love and loss. The poems that I have chosen to compare and contrast in depth are A Woman to Her Lover by Christina Walsh, How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti. Women have written all of the main poems that I have selected about autobiographical love and their own experiences of love. How Do I Love Thee? and A Birthday have very traditional views of love and the poems are written in a stereotypical style by women before 1914. The style is structured with a regular rhyming scheme. Walsh's poem, Women to Her lover has a very modern approach to love and her attitude is far beyond the time in which this poem was written. Walsh's poem, Woman to Her Lover, begins with a dramatic question, which is addressed to her lover, "Do you come to me to bend me to your will." This proves to the reader of the poem that Walsh intends to make sure that her views are heard in this relationship and for the readers of this poem when it was written this would be extremely controversial. This is because women were expected to be dutiful to their husbands as they were his property. ...read more.

Middle

The singing bird also makes the reader consider whether Rossetti's heart is beating fast with excitement as a singing bird gives the image of a bird flapping its wings. The first half repeats, "My heart" at the beginning of alternate lines. This repetition emphasises the fact that the poet is in love and so reminds us of the theme of the poem. Repetition is also used in A Woman To Her Lover to constantly remind her lover that she shall not be ordered about by another human being. The poet repeats the phrase, "I refuse you!" "My heart is like an apple-tree whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit." This implies that the poet is fulfilled and overladen with the happiness that being in love brings. The second half uses phrases like, "hang it with vair and purple dyes." This gives the poem a feel of luxury and delicacy. "Carve it in doves and pomegranates, and peacocks with a hundred eyes." The use of the fruit pomegranates represents fertility and the peacocks with a hundred eyes gives a sense of all knowing. The poem has short lines and this means that the poem moves along quite quickly and means that the statements are short and punchy. In comparison A Woman To Her Lover has longer lines and this allows the poet to put across more information to the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

This image is mocking and ironic because the Victorian view of women was at the heart of the home. Another poem that uses imagery is Villegiature. An example of this is, "My window, framed in pear-tree bloom, white-curtained shone, and softly lighted." The pear-tree bloom and the white-curtain are both white and so the image the reader gets here is of virginity and purity as this is often represented as white. I conclude that all of the poems describe love and loss in different ways and they tackle different issues. The language used in How Do I Love Thee? and in A Birthday creates images of joy and new life. Many of the poems could be interpreted as conversions to God and many of them mention the fact that their love will go on beyond death whenever God decides to takes them away. Many love poems are sonnets or have a regular rhyming scheme. This is for several reasons; firstly because Pre-1914 poets hardly ever wrote in free verse as that was not the fashion, secondly because sonnets are heavily structured and this helps the poet write a concentrated poem. The style and content of the poem often depends of the period in which is was written because in certain times there was a particular taboo subject that poets only ever vaguely implied in their poems as it was far to controversial to write about openly. ...read more.

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