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Referring to at least five poems from the anthology you have studied, compare and contrast the images and language, which the authors use to express the theme of love.

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Introduction

Pre 20TH Century Poetry: Love Referring to at least five poems from the anthology you have studied, compare and contrast the images and language, which the authors use to express the theme of love. "A Woman to Her Lover" by Christina Walsh, "Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelly, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by John Keats, "A Birthday" and "Remember" both by Christina Rossetti are five poems dealing with the common theme of love. How do the poets manage to express their ideas concerning love? "A Birthday" and "Remember" are two different pieces by Christina Rossetti. The first is a celebration of love, the author is overjoyed, brimming with emotion and she shares them with the reader. On the other hand, "Remember" deals with the question of 'love after death', and of nostalgia. She knows that she will soon be gone but doesn't want her departure to be a source of pain for her lover. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is the John Keats' tale of a young knight who is seduced by a beautiful enchantress, and then deceived, cursed to "... ...read more.

Middle

It is fitting that the tone be melancholic, mournful and woeful as the man is doomed, lost "on the cold hill's side "where no birds sing". There is a stark contrast between the tone in "Remember" and " A birthday". The latter's atmosphere is celebratory, even dreamy. The narrator is love-smitten, she is " gladder than all these/ Because my love has come to me". Bliss. However, the tone in "Remember" is quiet, subdued, sedated and measured. The woman has accepted the fact that she will depart. In addition, a feeling of detachment only lends to the creation of atmosphere. The structure of the poems also translates the authors' feelings about love, especially in "A Woman to Her Lover". The poem is composed of four irregular stanzas. There is no clearly defined rhyming pattern. These elements are representative of freeverse and translate Walsh's rebellious nature, rejecting the norm, unstructured but also unlimited. "Love's Philosophy" is a lyrical poem and consists of an octet and two quatrains. The poem is fluid and rapid, and every eight lines there is a rhetorical question: " Why not I with thine?", " If thou not kissed me?". ...read more.

Conclusion

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is, contrastingly, somber, dark with a fairy tale touch. There is a relatively high level of language, enabling vivid descriptions of the knight's emotions, "wither'd", "haggard", "woe-begone". In addition Keats makes use of figures of speech "I see a lilly on thy brow". A romantic poet, John Keats set the poem in natural surroundings ( "meads", " lake", "rose", "harvest", "roots"). In the eleventh stanza we fall upon an even darker description: "I saw their starved lips in the gloam/ With horrid warning gaped wide". This brings us even closer to the knight's distress. Moreover there is a use of repetition with "pale" "palely" evoked several times. The first and last stanzas are also identical. (" O, what can ail thee, knights-at-arms,/Alone and palely loitering/ The sedge has wither'd from the lake/ And no birds sing.") In "Remember" the language used is soft, diminishing and gentle. One can easily imagine hearing the words being said in a melodious and calm and tender, echoing voice, gently breaking the news of imminent death. Indeed, throughout the poem there are allusions to death although it is never explicitly stated, "silent land, "future", "remember me". "A Birthday"'s first six lines are similes, comparing a loving narrator to a "singing bird", an " apple-tree", a " rainbow shell", etc. ...read more.

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