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Comparing 'The River' by C.H. Sorely and 'Fresh Water' by Andrew Motion.

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Comparing 'The River' by C.H. Sorely and 'Fresh Water' by Andrew Motion. These two poems were written about ninety years apart, Charles Hamilton Sorely wrote The River in 1913 and in the nineteen nineties Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate) wrote Fresh Water. Both poems are about rivers, which isn't exactly surprising, but also much more. Poetry as a genre is generally used to say something else, an ulterior message; poetry is used as a metaphor, and these poems are no exception. Continually moving forwards, some times speeding up, some times slacking, meandering gently or going through a rough patch. Its course unchangeable and inevitable, eventually coming to an end and becoming something bigger... Sorely's poem The River is set at the same time it was written in nineteen thirteen. In brief it describes the constant fore coming, inevitable darkness of the first world war, the poet would have seen the political situation of Europe at the time and had realised there was going to be a momentous war. ...read more.


The author connects with his audience using shared experiences. Fresh water is a different type of poem all together; it is progressive as The River is static. The River is set in one time, one place, where as fresh water takes one on a journey through both time and space. The atmosphere that Fresh Water has about it is far more contemplative, it shows one situation and then gives an entirely different view point to it at the end of the poem, giving the poem another layer and causing the audience to think about it a lot more, making the poem resonate in their heads so they will always remember the emotion they felt when think of it. The River on the other hand describes its situation as it is. The only other layer to this poem is the metaphor of war and the fate of death. Fresh Water does become increasingly sadder as it progresses but still does so in a beautiful way. ...read more.


The poem describes the birth of a new human being, even though the 'baby' is in his forties he feels alone, scared and completely knowledgeless, just like a new life. But with this new arrival the river is still portrayed as moving in one direction as it has been throughout the entire poem until the death of Ruth Hendon. When the poem get to this point it is given a completely different view point, for the first time the river is shown as travelling backwards, unlike life, because it is not life the poem is dealing with anymore, it is dealing with death. The poets depicts Ruth Hendon's moving backwards up stream, passing scenes from the poets and therefore her own life, moving back in time, only to be taken right back to the source of the river and taken down into the earth, always going against the current, to eventually emerge one more and start the cycle of growing up with the river all over again. Adam Rivers ...read more.

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