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Welsh Poetry Comparison & Analysis.

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Introduction

ENGLISH COURSEWORK ESSAY: WELSH POETRY COMPARISON & ANALYSIS This essay will consider two poems, both written by Welsh authors. The first poem to be discussed will be Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night. Following this, the emphasis will progress to Owen Sheers' poem, When You Died, where ongoing comparisons between the two poems will be made. The content of this essay will discuss the themes and ideas present in both poems, and the devices and techniques used to illustrate them. One of the distinct similarities between the two is that both are themed heavily on the topic of death. Bearing this in mind, the atmosphere, mood and tone of each poem will be discussed with both comparisons and differences made. In addition, the different sets of structures used will be analysed and the effects resulting from the employment of these structures. Dylan Thomas' poem is in the form of a villanelle. This can be inferred from the rigid structure of nineteen lines and the rhyming scheme, which utilises only two rhymes throughout the entirety of the poem. The strict rhyming scheme gives the poem a strong rhythm and a determined, inflexible pace, and as a result, the poem exudes a sense of insuperability in the face of death. ...read more.

Middle

For the first time in the poem, Thomas' desperation is betrayed by his entreaty to his father to "curse" and "bless" him. Saying this, the poem does not display overly strong emotive sentiments, but rather instils an air of contemplation in the reader via its placid and rather repetitive manner. The second poem by Owen Sheers is structured in a far less disciplined manner. The poem follows no conspicuously discernible structure and is more ad lib than Thomas' poem. A strict rhyme scheme would be inappropriate and would not constitute to the type of poem Sheers desired. Instead he has chosen to write more freely, as epitomised by his use of enjambement: "its broken skull/ of stone....". This more liberating form relieves Sheers of any strict structural codes that might have hindered the emotional cause of the poem, and allows him to express his despair more readily. The one apparent semblance of any structure, is the consecutively increasing number of lines in each verse. For example, the first verse has five lines, the second, six lines and the third, seven lines. This increasing number of lines pattern could be Sheers' attempt to rise to a climax of sorrow. The mood of Sheers' poem is more expressive and less repetitive in language than the Thomas' poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

As can be seen from the extract from above, the writer ends on a note that is not overtly sad. These four lines hardly suggest that anyone at all has died, as the writer, reminiscing of happier times, has detached himself from reality and in doing so has seemingly forgotten the reason for his initial despondency and depression. The last phrase: "one of them/ wearing a feather" illustrates the writer's aloofness from reality. The writer's observation regarding one of the eggs "wearing a feather" displays the vivid recollections of the past he possesses, which perhaps provide him with an opportunity to escape from the traumas of reality. The significance of the egg could possibly a subtle portent of hope after death, even new life. The positive note that the poem ends on consolidates this idea. This concept ties in with the one used in Thomas' poem where, as mentioned earlier, he refers to death as being "good", thus indicating the benevolence of death, a release from suffering. Hence the moral of Sheers' poem, although relatively elusive and ambiguous in comparison with the moral of Thomas' poem, is that there is hope after death. The moral of Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, is much more apparent, the theme displayed in the title (metaphorically) and throughout. Thomas' poem therefore urges us to fight against death, a message pertinent to everyone. ...read more.

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