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'The Four Seasons' - Select for detailed comparison two or three poems which depict the seasons.

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Introduction

'The Four Seasons' - Select for detailed comparison two or three poems which depict the seasons. Look at the structure of each poem as well as its use of language, and show how the poems not only describe the seasons but also convey its mood. As you write indicate your response to the words and ideas in the poems, and at the end say which poem you prefer, giving your reasons. I am going to tell you about three different poems I have chosen which I feel best portray the seasons. I have chosen 'Spring' by G.M Hopkins, 'To Autumn' by John Keats and 'Skating' from 'The Prelude' by William Wordsworth. The poem 'Spring' by G.M Hopkins is a very happy and joyful poem and full of life. In the very first line, Hopkins refers to Spring as the most attractive season of them all, telling us: 'Nothing is so beautiful as Spring' (Line 1). He carries on creating a buoyant and cheerful atmosphere by using words and phrases such as the alliterative phrases 'long and lovely and lush' (Line 2) and 'With richness, the racing lambs too have fair their fling' (Line 8). In the first stanza, Hopkins uses imagery with phrases such as 'weeds in wheels' (Line 2) and 'The glassy pear tree leaves and blooms' (Line 6), which gives the reader pictures of Springtime. ...read more.

Middle

and 'on a half reap'd furrow sound asleep' (Line 16). He uses many restful alliterative words such as 'winnowing wind' (Line 15) and the phrase 'Thou watchest the last oozing hours by hours' (Line 22) also feels like life is slowing down. Even though he talks about this time being easy and lazy it is a very difficult and busy time for farmers, however this is not stated in the poem. Keats writes what is idealistic for him. He has again used lots of long vowels to create heaviness and slowness in the poem with phrases such as 'Drowsed with the fume of poppies' (Line 17) to suggest sleepiness. In the final stanza he talks about the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, talking about regret, 'where are the songs of Spring?' (Line 23). Keats also gives the reader images of the autumn evenings, 'soft-dying day' (Line 25) and also 'rosy hue' (Line 26) which means the setting sun, which is in contrast to the mature sun of the first stanza. Keats describes images of death using words and phrases such as 'mourn' (Line 27), 'sinking' (Line 29) and also 'the light wind lives or dies' (Line 29) because it is the end of the summer. He uses many musical terms throughout the last stanza, such as 'wailful choir' (Line 27), 'full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn' (Line 30), 'hedge crickets sing' (Line 31) ...read more.

Conclusion

From being the most important thing in the first stanza, he is suddenly very small and insignificant in the second. He is kneeling on the ice and the cliffs seem to be whirling round him as he is dizzy, and he talks about watching the night get darker and the ice get quieter until he is the only one left, writing 'I stood and watch'd / Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep.' (Line 37/38). This poem I think is a mixture of both Spring and Autumn poems in the way it uses structure, atmosphere and imagery. Wordsworth's poem begins in a happy, positive and exciting way just like Spring, using short phrases, short vowels and exciting words, however in the second stanza it gets slower and quieter, and uses long sentences and long vowels in a similar way to Autumn. My favourite poem out of the three I have chosen is Spring by G.M Hopkins. This is because it is a very fast moving and happy poem which describes all the best bits about Spring and gives a feeling of excitement and optimism as the season promises to move into a hot and bright summer from a cold, dark winter. I like how Hopkins talks about the innocence of Spring and how he compares it to the garden of Eden and also how he talks about the beauty of the season, using interesting alliteration and happy, cheerful images of new life. Matthew Cuckston Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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