William Shakespeare, lived during 1564 and 1616, wrote "Spring" and "Winter".

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Marta Davis

Poetry Essay 1

Spring vs. Winter:

A Comparison of Shakespeare


        William Shakespeare, lived during 1564 and 1616, wrote “Spring” and “Winter”, both eighteen line poems written as a companion piece to one another. Similarly, the poems discuss the themes of each season through the use of imagery. Both poems use ABAB rhyme, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, while the second line rhyme with the fourth. Both use iambic tetrameter, four units of iambic beat to a line. This allows the poems to maintain a rhythm of weak then strong beats. Spring and Winter, both contain lines with eight syllables. In addition to meter and rhyme, Shakespeare repeats whole words, phrases, lines or group of lines in some fixed pattern, similar to a song (Arp p. 176).

        “Spring” uses three sets of four lines to separate the poem, summarizing the poem with two lines at the end. The theme of the song is that spring is a time for beauty, growth and regenerative powers especially when compared to the season of winter. Shakespeare creates these themes by a major use of imagery. Imagery is the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas (dictionary.com). “Daises pied”, is a concise way to say the daises are patchy in color, along with the blue violets. Between the flowers and buds of yellow hue, “do paint the meadows with delight”. Immediately, the reader is able to create a visual image and an emotional response of a spring day.

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        The second paragraph opens with “when shepherds pipe on oaten straws,” refers to shepherds in the middle of an oat field, blowing on an oat straw either answering the call to the cuckoo or simply frolicking in the spring harvest. The merry larks are delightful birds which alarm the plowmen when to begin early in the morning just as the sun is rising. The turtles, rooks and daws (simply more birds) walk about displaying a lively and happy nature. The maidens prepare for summer by bleaching their smocks. Living creatures are out everywhere whether they are singing, plowing, walking or ...

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