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W.H. Auden Called the 1930s "A Low, Dishonest Decade" and Many Though Not All, of The Poets of the 1930s Shared This Disillusionment. What Have You Found Interesting in the Poetry of the 1930s?

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Introduction

W.H. Auden Called the 1930s "A Low, Dishonest Decade" and Many Though Not All, of The Poets of the 1930s Shared This Disillusionment. What Have You Found Interesting in the Poetry of the 1930s? Although many poets agreed with Auden's statement that the 1930s "A Low, Dishonest Decade", some poets didn't share in this disillusionment. For example, I think that Louis MacNeice's "Birmingham" agrees with this statement. On the other hand, I think Dylan Thomas's "Fern Hill" compliments the 1930s and gives a positive impression of the decade. In terms of the language, "Fern Hill" and "Birmingham" contrast each other perfectly. Dylan Thomas deliberately wrote "Fern Hill" using simple language and short words, possibly to symbolise the youth and naivety of the situation. Contrasting this, Louis MacNeice uses much longer words and there is a much wider use of vocabulary. MacNeice also uses little punctuation and his words are in an incoherent jumble, which reflects on his image of Birmingham - an unclear, tangled place. However, Dylan Thomas uses synaesthesia, a confusion of feelings, which is not all too different to the technique Louis MacNeice uses when he creates a jumbled feeling in "Birmingham." The poets obviously have different feelings towards what they are writing about. It's apparent that Louis MacNeice dislikes Birmingham - the poem is about how ugly the city and the residents' lives are, and that it is an urban blight where spiritual deadliness is bred. ...read more.

Middle

Dylan Thomas also uses the word "white" ("like a wanderer white"), which gives the image of purity and naivety. "Birmingham" also mentions colour - "diaphanous as green glass" but it isn't used in the same way as Thomas used it. It gives the impression as lacking substance and an empty feeling. The colour "plum" is also used - "plum after sunset" - which can be perceived as a positive, beautiful image. But in reality the sunset is probably only plum because of the pollution and smoke. Time is a theme in "Fern Hill" - it's described as infinite and it gives the impression that it will go on forever. Thomas was very fond of using the phrase "time let me", especially in the first and second stanzas: "time let me hail and climb", "time let me play and be". In the fifth stanza he writes "I ran in my heedless ways", which gives the image that there are no worries in the world, that childhood has no cares and worrying is just simply not an issue. However, just two lines later, he writes "that time allows", which projects a sense of prohibition, which is an oxymoron it itself as the "heedless ways" contradicts this. "Fern Hill" is a poem which emphasises beauty; however "Birmingham" is not a poem that would strike you as being beautiful. ...read more.

Conclusion

This pattern is repeated throughout the poem, with the exception of the last stanza. In the last stanza there are half-rhymes, for example "move, mauve." There are also examples of Para rhymes, such as "go on, zone", "blood, bud" etc. The rhythm of the poem is fairly repetitive. Dylan Thomas uses the technique of alliteration. Such examples include: "grass was green", "simple stars", "wanderer white", "spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm", "farm forever" etc. This stresses what the poet is trying to say. Thomas also uses enjambment, similar to MacNeice: "the calves Sang to my horn", the Sabbath rang slowly In the pebbles of the holy streams", "the night-jars Flying with the ricks" etc. Enjambment emphasises the words the poet is using. There isn't such a clear rhyming pattern at all in "Fern Hill", though. A few lines half rhyme, for example "maiden, again", "ways, hay", but there is no clear pattern like there is in "Birmingham." I think that although both poems are similar to each other in some aspects, such as both including certain literary techniques, the poems differ from many more aspects, including the theme, the language used, the settings, whether it is positive or negative etc. And on top of this, "Birmingham" seems to agree with the statement that describes the 1930s as a "low, dishonest decade", where as "Fern Hill" contradicts this statement and immensely compliments the decade for its naivety, youth and innocence. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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