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"Poetry can bring to life experiences and ideas which are otherwise difficult for us to understand what is your response to this view?"

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Introduction

Q. "Poetry can bring to life experiences and ideas which are otherwise difficult for us to understand what is your response to this view?" My personal response of poetry being the "subject and formulae", for individuals helping them to understand complicated life matters, which are difficult for us to understand is shown by comparing the two poems 'London' by William Blake and 'Prayer before birth' by Louis MacNeice. We can begin to comprehend the authors individual thoughts and feelings by analysing them through our own interpretation of language, form and structure of the poem. "Prayer before birth" is written in 1944 which is at the end of the second world war. This poem reflects the innocence of a child in the mothers womb being brought into a world of experience and temptation. It is quite ironic to have a an unborn baby "knowing" of the outside world and experiences as of yet not being born. But MacNeice uses clever imagery "...Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club - footed ghoul come near me." ...read more.

Middle

It's about misery and human despair, the "mind forg'd manacles" of depression imprisoning people. The rapidly indutrialising economy and society corrupt and poisin all those who live in it. This poem is about how people may disfunctionally go through experience and end up passing their knowledge through to the next innocent generation. Blake tends to use the imagery of cjildren a lot as they symbolise purity and power. His argument is that if childhood is reacked then so is the the adult that they become. Throught every stage of his poem he uses a more innocent imagery of a child from "infant" to "new born infant". Also he uses clever imagery of purity contrasted against impurity. Quite a few oximorons are used to contast imagery in the poem. Showing how the worldof experience can quickly corruptand destroy the innocence. "...Every black'ning Church appals;" "Black'ning" meaning dirty metaphorically and also literally. This also shows the church which is appuled by the conditions but turns a blind eye, "black'ning" is contrasted with purity which is supposed to be of the church , but the chuch is blackned by turning a blind eye. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the second stanza "every" is used to add imact which is used constanmtly through the first, second and third lines. The poem it self is quite short and in every stanza thereis four lines, the imagery is also quite strong in the short space Blake has used to give us an idea of what he feels London is all about. This could be due to having to get his point across to people Both these poems, in my opinion, share feelings of concern and disgust for experience. If i had to pick which one I prefered I would choose the Blake poem. This is because the meaning of the words is more clearcut. I accept that the point of the MacNeice poem may be to leave it up to the reader to decide whether or not the poem is sarcastic or not. But I dont consider this device to be particularly effective ; thought provoking maybe but not effective. The Blake poem is also more emotionally charged and melodramatic it is almost scary as the poem relates to London which is a mere 10-15 miles away and sadly corruption and sexually transmitted diseases are still relevant themes today. ...read more.

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