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Pre-war Poetry coursework

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Introduction

Pre-war poetry coursework: Each of the poems in comparison, both 'Ode to a Nightingale' (John Keats) and 'To the Skylark' (Percy Bysshe Shelley), are using birds to reveal the deep emotion and pain that each poet has locked away within themselves. The complex build of each poem uses a structure of such clever techniques as metaphors, similes, sibilance, oxymoron and alliteration. Bereavement, longing for love and empathy all forcefully shown within descriptions of two birds a Skylark and a Nightingale. 'Ode to a Nightingale' is John Keats' observation of human life; he battles with the mixture of pain and joy, greatness of feeling life and the darkness of feeling death, mortality and immortality, the realistic and idealistic world surrounding, and of parting as well as correlation. Stanza 1 begins with John Keats falling into a daydream whilst listening to an actual nightingale sing. His response to the beauty of the song is that of joy, yet also pain! Feeling as though he had drank 'hemlock' showed the pain he was feeling, as this is a poisonous drink made from a herb, he uses this in a powerful simile that shows to the exact extent of his sorrow. ...read more.

Middle

Stanzas 3 and 4 are very focused in on death, he wishes he could eliminate it taking with it the pain he curses, this is shown through his alliteration in 'away, away'. His poem is very biographical, telling his whole life of sorrow and wishes and sharing his pain in the first person. He embarks personification by saying 'Mid-May's eldest child' When Keats turns to death and says ' I have been half in love with easeful Death' we question if he is being suicidal and the capital letter on death explains that he sees death as more of a character, possibly a person taking all these people from around him. Towards the end it is revealed in true depth the sadness that lay inside Keats. The whole poem questions the meaning of life and why we have to suffer such pains as bereavement and whether nature such as birds feel this; Keats has demonstrated how the beauty of the nightingale really made him envious and his techniques really showed his sorrow! ...read more.

Conclusion

Shelley's poem has the rhyme scheme of ABABB. Between the two poems there are many similarities for example they both relate to birds to show their emotions and express the realities and sadness in life, yet there too are differences. For example Shelley's ' To a Skylark' is joyful talking of 'love' and 'sweet' things, where as Keats' poem was that of a sour tasting sad life that was biographically told using the peaceful tranquillity of a beautiful bird as an over exaggerated comparison, but because of the this it makes it all the more powerful and exciting to read. You feel sorry for Keats as he describes his innermost painful experiences in the skin of a bird and nature. Yet, you feel joyful to be able to experience the pleasures of Shelley's Skylark poem. The way that the structure of each poem is carefully done is an emphasis on feelings with Keats and his metaphors and similes and Shelley including them but also doing a long last line to each stanza you end up with two fantastic poems but two extremely different outlooks to life itself. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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