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"Watching Tennis" and "A Subaltern's Love Song"

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Introduction

Poetry Comparison Coursework "Watching Tennis" and "A Subaltern's Love Song" Introduction The themes and ideas are so similar that if one was to briefly explain what both poems were about, you would think that they were exactly the same poems. Yet what really separates these two poems is their technical side. Form The form of a poem can be mainly observed by looking at and listening to the poem. Rhyme scheme, verse length, and line length are but a few examples of a poem's form. A Subaltern's Love song is a relatively long poem compared to Watching Tennis. It contains eleven verses, each of four lines length. There are between ten and thirteen syllables in each line. As this poem tells us a story and has a regular rhyme scheme, it is a narrative and can be classed as a ballad. It contains rhyming couplets which show a sense of control and harmony. Watching Tennis is a less orthodox poem. It is a Petrarchan sonnet, containing fourteen lines. This type of sonnet is divided up into two verses, one of length eight lines; the other of six. ...read more.

Middle

As the verse length and rhyme scheme change, it adds an element of loss of control. This is because the man is making love to the woman and the change in form results in an unorthodox sounding poem. This helps visualize the man's nothing-to-lose attitude for love. Another way Betjeman emphasises the fact that the man constantly thinks of this woman is how he starts the poem with "Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn" and ends the poem with "...Miss Joan Hunter Dunn." We can see that not only has he started and ended with the same name, to emphasise his love, but he also makes a slight change. "Miss J. Hunter-Dunn" is mentioned at the start of the poem and "Miss Joan Hunter-Dunn" at the end. The difference is that he changes the J to Joan. This emphasises how he has become familiar with her as he is now engaged. He is, in a sense, emphasising his happiness and smugness on getting engaged with her by deliberately changing her name. He includes two words next to each other which sound very similar, although one is an adjective and the other is a noun. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both poems describe the men as being "nor apt at any sport" and Heath-Stubbs mentions the man "struggle with double-end evening tie". Tone Both poems talk about a man dreaming of a woman they believe is out of their league. However, A Subaltern's Love Song talks more in a hopeful, jocular light. The man believes that the girl is in a different league to him. He also talks in a very graceful, pleasant and sweet way about the girl, "Speed of a swallow, Grace of a boy." He talks in less of a seductive sexy way as Heath-Stubbs does. "Your mouth on mine found its silent need." However, Heath-Stubbs also talks about how the girl is graceful and delicate, "You move like a dancer," Conclusion In conclusion, although both poems share very similar ideas and themes, they differ on the technical side. A Subaltern's Love Song is written in a much more orthodox fashion than Watching Tennis. However, one major concept which both poems share is that they both commence with the idea of the man and woman in love with each other as hopeless, and end with that idea a being hopeful. ?? ?? ?? ?? Danyal Shafqat ALHG ...read more.

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