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Poetry Comparison- Twice Shy/ Thickness of Ice

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast "Twice Shy" by Seamus Heaney and "The Thickness of Ice" by Liz Loxley Both poems "Twice Shy" and "The Thickness of Ice" portray ideas of love, hurt and naivety; however there is a vast difference in how these ideas are interpreted. Twice Shy shows past hurt and naivety, and how it affects the characters in the present, whereas Thickness of Ice shows hurt and naivety in the present and therefore has a more cynical take on love. Twice Shy is narrated by a male character one evening as a woman he appears to be in love with accompanies him on a walk. The poem focuses on not only these two character, but also their surroundings. Although the poem is narrated by only one character, you get to know both characters with quite some depth. In The Thickness of Ice there is one narrating character also, but the poem is largely focused on that one character. The main character is a female and the poem describes a relationship she is, or will be, a part of. Both poems offer very different takes on love however at heart both are very similar through how they describe the aftershock of a deep and meaningful relationship. In 'Twice Shy', the recurrent simile of the hawk and prey seems to reflect the overall atmosphere of the poem. ...read more.

Middle

However in Thickness of Ice, the characters are always portrayed as equal- regardless to whether it is a friends, lovers, acquaintances or enemies- making the poem more relaxed and lacking in tension. This lack of tension and apprehension however, makes it appear that the two lovers are not as in love as those in Twice Shy, as they seem to be 'content with simple movements' and not feel as though they need to give their partner anything. Both poems put across ideas of naivety and hurt, but in different forms. Twice Shy shows how a new love 'turns' people into children- excitable and nervous; "With nervous childish talk." This child-like behaviour puts people into a situation of naivety, because all the strong emotions for a new partner often cover warning signals, putting that person into a prime position for getting hurt, which is exactly what is recalled in stanza four. This stanza shows how the lovers had both been hurt in the past by acting on emotion and "publish[ing] feeling and regret[ing] it all too late-". Likewise, The Thickness of Ice shows this naivety, but not in the same manner. Unlike in Twice Shy, the naivety from The Thickness of Ice comes from the voice of the poem. The wording is very simple and secretive- like a child. ...read more.

Conclusion

The character hints that she wants to be friends again, and possibly more, even after having learnt the 'thinness of ice'- a contradiction to the title. Twice Shy's vocabulary has a greater amount of complexity than The Thickness of Ice howbeit, the latter poem seems to be more emotionally orientated. Thickness of Ice is a lot more personal to the narrating character and have more personal insights 'though secretly I'll be hoping we'll become much more.' whereas in Twice Shy the narrating character remains mostly detached. The poem shows no relation to his personal emotions, just an awareness of the situation and his surroundings. In conclusion, both poems portray a similar account of the excitement and the pain that occurs both in and around a relationship, but the focus of each emotion is different in both poems. Twice Shy is orientated around the excitement and hope of a budding relationship and touches on the subject of how past hurt and let down can affect how one goes about a new relationship whereas Thickness of Ice focuses on the breakdown and how it affects the characters behaviour to each other and to themselves. Both poems offer a compelling account of a relationship and both explore how such strong emotions can change how humans would usually act. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Howe ...read more.

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