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Pre 19th century poetry essay

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Pre 19th century poetry essay Poets have written about love in many, possibly countless ways, each of them emphasising different aspects of an emotion which is at once both wide and deep. I have studied a range of love poems exploring married love, unrequited love, possessive love, destructive love and even lost love. Some seem to be personal, such as John Clare in his poem "First Love"; whilst others are celebrating finding their ideal partner such as Christina Rossetti in "Birthday". However, Rossetti also describes and everlasting selfless love in "Remember", when she anticipates her own death. Finally Lord Byron writes a sad lyric poem about the end of a relationship and the sorrow that follows. Two sonnets describing a perfect love are written by Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; they are "Remember" and "How Do I Love Thee". The forms and styles of the poems vary from creepy dramatic monologues such as Browning's "Porphyria's lover" to the more simple lyrics like Rossetti's "A Birthday" I will now compare A Birthday, How Do I Love Thee? and First Love in detail. A Birthday presents love as being a special occasion. It also shows love as being a happy occasion by using many positive words. How Do I Love Thee? is a more religious poem and to me it presents itself as being a poem that sees love as being very holy and created by God. ...read more.


The use of the word "burnt" is a very negative look on love whereas the poem How Do I Love Thee? is very different in that it has a cheery more positive point of view. The poem How Do I love Thee? continues to be very cheerful and there is no major change in the direction that the poet is going. The poet repeats the words "I love thee" to reinforce to the reader the fact that she truly loves him and only him. She continues to describe to the reader her feelings that her love is not just a passion it is a vital need like food and water, "quiet need". When the author uses the words "sun...candlelight" she is portraying to the reader that her love is a positive idea. The poet could have not used these words to symbolise that her love was a positive part of her life, in addition these words show how love can illuminate someone's life by brightening up the darkest of days. "Freely" indicates that the poet wants her love to be seen as natural and not forced. Later Barrett Browning uses the word "purely" which implies that the love has been god-given and that it is innocent. This makes the love more special to the reader as they feel that it is pure and not wasted on someone who does not appreciate it. The reader is assured that the love shall be true when the poet continues to describe her love with heart-felt emotion. ...read more.


I feel that the key difference between the poem First Love, How Do I Love Thee and A Birthday are the endings. The ending of the poem First Love is a very negative and this differs from the poems A Birthday and How Do I Love Thee, which end in a very enthusiastic and self-assured way. I admire the poet of First Love for his clever portrayal of how unrequited love can break a heart, and I was particularly captivated by the use of metaphorical language. The poem How Do I Love thee looks at love in a pure and holy way, by using language, which is directly referred to religion. The poet of A Birthday feels that her love is superior to all others and this is represented with words that illustrate status. This poem is captivating due to its use of representative language. I admire the way in which Rossetti describes her love as being luxurious as that is how many people feel whilst in love. Finally I feel that there is a hidden message behind all of the poems which I have studied this is that you don't have to be rich or poor, sane or insane, well or sick to feel the warmth and contented feeling which is rare when in love. The pre 20th century impression I have acquired about love is completely prehistoric in nature to today. The love today has no restrictions to gender, class, ethnicity where it did then, at the same time the sense of love being divine is not as strong today as it was before 1914. ...read more.

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