Compare and Contrast At Least Two Poems Which Deal With Love

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Compare and Contrast At Least Two Poems Which Deal With Love

I have chosen to compare and contrast ‘Les Sylphides’ by Louis Macneice written after 1900 and ‘Sonnet 116’ by William Shakespeare written before 1900.  I am comparing these two poems as the poets have very different opinions on true love.  Shakespeare believes that true love will never end even after life while Macneice thinks that after marriage people grow apart because of everyday life.  The two poems were written in different centuries so this could be why their opinion on love differs.

The poem presents the ’life in a day’.  The man who poet is writing about sees his whole life in a day.  He cannot see the ballet ‘being short-sighted,’ which shows that he does love the girl in the poem as he is going to the ballet even though he cannot see it clearly.  Metaphorically speaking he is blind to the future; he is not seeing it clearly.  He is short sighted about marriage and thinks it will be perfect.  The ‘white skirts’ symbolise the purity and innocence as they do not know what marriage holds for them.  The, ‘white skirts in the grey’ is misty and romantic but also shows again that the man cannot see clearly and the future is unclear to him.  The tone in this stanza is very dreamy, like music.  The ‘swell of the music’ makes us think of the swell of water which makes us imagine the ballerinas as ships in the sea.

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The ballerinas’ dresses are like ‘calyx upon calyx’, flower buds opening and the different layers of the flower buds symbolise different layers of meaning. The ‘canterbury bells’ could symbolise wedding bells but also warning bells saying that marriage will not be as perfect as he thinks it will be. The mirror image of the flowers symbolises symmetry and the poet thinks there is symmetry in ballet and in life.  He thinks that it will be perfect and even.  He thinks he will just drift along in life ‘moving like seaweed’ with no direction.

In the third stanza he ...

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