Comparative essay on poems from the 'Book of matches'.

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Edward Amoroso

Comparative Essay On Poems

I have decided to use two poems from the book of matches, ‘Those bastards in their mansions’, ‘I’ve made out a will’ and the poem ‘Kid’ to compare and contrast. Simon Armitage wrote ‘Book of matches’ in 1993. It is a selection of poems without titles. Each poem is meant to be read in the time that it takes for a match to burn down. There is a pun in the title, a packet from which we tear out the matches a book, but this is also a book in the normal sense, with words for us to read.

Both of these poems are fourteen lines long, but they are not strictly a sonnet in form. ‘I’ve made out a will’ has irregular rhymes, both full and half rhymes. It is split so that there is a first block of eight lines, then a second block of six lines, which is split into a four and a two. The final section is split so that it ends in a couplet like a Shakespearean sonnet. Some may argue that this poem is not a sonnet because it does not follow a conventional sonnet form, such as a Shakespearean sonnet or a Petrarchan sonnet.

‘Those bastards in their mansions’ has some weird features to its structure. Ten of the first eleven lines end in an unstressed syllable, and there are some rhymes such as “ditches/britches”, “porches and torches”, and there is the part-rhyme in “shackles/ankles”. At the end of the poem, there is short lines and true rhyme on one syllable, “sun” and gun”. This may suggest the power of the shadowy outlaw, who eludes his wealthy foes.

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Like ‘Those bastards in their mansions’, in the poem ‘Kid’, every line ends with an unstressed syllable. Every line ends with the ‘-er’ sound. The poem starts off with heavy syllables to emphasise that Robin, the persona of the poem is annoyed. The heavy syllables are almost like Robin is shouting, and they show that he is in a mood. It is almost comical how the poet manages to end every line with ‘-er’. As the poem progresses, the reader wonders how the poet is able to continue with this pattern. The poem is ideally suited to be read ...

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