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The presentation of love (and loss) in How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, First Love by John Clare and Remember by Christina Rossetti with further reference to My Last Duchess by Robert Browning, When We Two Parted

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Poetry Coursework Compare in detail the presentation of love (and loss) in How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, First Love by John Clare and Remember by Christina Rossetti with further reference to My Last Duchess by Robert Browning, When We Two Parted by Lord Byron and A Woman To Her Lover by Christina Walsh By Ata Rahman The three poems, First Love by John Clare, Remember by Christina Rossetti and How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning were all written in the 19th century. They all share the similar theme of love, however they are all very different in numerous ways, such as in their structure, their tone, their ideas of love, the time of their relationship and their descriptions about their lovers. Throughout life, many people fall instantly in love when they see someone for the first time. First Love focuses on the impact this can have on a person and the feelings they receive from experiencing such a wonderful moment. Alternatively, Remember not only reflects upon the importance and struggles of grieving after a lover has passed away, but also how the lover wishes them to continue in life without them. On the other hand, the ideas of love reaching its peak and a love being so deep that nothing can break the bond both lovers share is expressed in the poem, How Do I Love Thee. ...read more.


Usage of language in all three poems is extremely important and very different. In First Love the language presents natural imagery; in Remember the language brings a range of emotions across to the reader, but in How Do I Love Thee the language is more romantic and soft spoken, however still very serious. The language varies greatly in all three poems and certain parts of the poems show these differences. When John Clare describes his love "blooming like a sweet flower" it gives the impression that his love is very natural and pure as he is comparing it to nature itself. These phrases lead onto the idea of a spiritual side to the poem, when analysed in depth. However, when Christina Rossetti says "For if the darkness and corruption leave", it brings across a range of negative feelings such as loss and death. The language almost seems to be the ultimate reversal of First Love. Differently, Elizabeth Barrett Browning expresses her love in a much more affectionate manner saying that "she loves thee purely" and "she loves thee freely", which shows the strength of her love and that it is very passionate. The language is contrasting in all three poems, because the three of them aim to describe love in different ways and the language enables them to do so. ...read more.


In the first stanza he explores the feelings of being "struck" with love. This topic continues in the second stanza, but he focuses more on comparisons and "blood burning round [his] heart". The third stanza shifts the poem's focus even more to the love being so concentrated, despite only lasting for one second. This structure is similar to A Woman To Her Lover by Christina Walsh, but the poem has different lengths of stanzas for emphasis; the stanzas in First Love tend to be of similar length. In How Do I Love Thee, being a petrarchan sonnet has the octave discussing the current situation of her love and how far her "soul can reach", whereas the sestet focuses on the possibilities of her love in the future and how "if God choose, she shall love thee better after death". The main change between the octave and the sestet is the time she is discussing, but also the context of the romance. First Love, How Do I Love Thee & Remember are completely different in countless ways. On the surface while read without much analysis or thought, they are viewed as different, mainly in the message they try and carry across and it is because the aims of the poems are so different that features such as tone, structure, rhyme, rhythm and language are so varied in these poems. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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