“My dreams are haunted;
Are his dreams rich.”
In this quote, he compares the dreams of a middle class to a poor man’s dream. The middle class man dream is likely to be negative because he has everything he wants in reality and can not dream for more, so has to dream that he has less or no wealth and/or in danger. However, because the poor man has not got anything solid and faces death more often than the middle class man and so his dream are presumably very positive to reverse his harsh reality. The poor man dreams about a suitable home, some amounts of money and a family to support him.
R S Thomas’ poem uses metaphorically presentations, with one being when he says that the tramp looks down and while the middle class person looks up.
“He looks at his feet,”
“I look at the sky.”
This, under the surface, implies about the tramp’s and middle class man’s position in society. It conveys the low, dismal, ashamed life of the tramp that is ashamed to stare anyone in the face and compares it with the middle class man’s high, bright future.
The two previous poems are different in themes and style. ‘The Solitary Reaper’ is slower in rhythm and flows more with an ending line that closes the poem and is written for people who like long descriptive lines that people can read and has a positive effect on them.
However, ‘Tramp’ is a faster, to the point poem with less description and imagery. This poem asks questions to the reader and points out the reality of homelessness. The poem makes evaluate their life and be grateful but also guilty of their supposedly ‘rich’ lives (compared to the ‘tramp’) and requires thought as it contains a lot of metaphors. This poem is targeted at adults who take their life for granted whereas the other poem has a wider audience of anyone that like relaxing poems.
Another poem of Wordsworth is the Sonnet, ‘On Westminster Bridge.’ This poem is on the theme of landscape of Westminster Bridge and blends images of the city and Wordsworth’s own reaction to one world. This poem is descriptive with a lot of imagery used to covey how much the landscape of London left the poet in wonder.
Wordsworth uses similes, personification and metaphors as parts of imagery. An example of simile is when he describes the city being a type of clothing.
“This city now doth, like a garment, wear”
This simile compares the colours of the buildings and general scenery around the bridge and says that it is like the city looks like it has been dressed and arranged in a spectacular way.
A strong personification used is about the houses around the bridge:
“The very houses seem asleep,”
This is stating that the bridge and the surroundings are so quiet in the morning that the houses look asleep. Therefore, Wordsworth has made houses do a human characteristic and so this adds to the tranquillity of the poem.
This poem is another slow, positive look on the scenery by Wordsworth, but this time in an urban area. Wordsworth can still descriptively write about the scenery even in the city of London, normally presently considered ‘noisy and dirty.’ Nevertheless, Wordsworth has shown that even cities have beautiful landscapes that is not appreciated and rarely seen, in the morning, as most people are in bed. He wrote the poem to make people aware of the quiet and majestic scenery of London and conveys that excellent landscapes are located in urban areas.
However, by today’s standards, the scenery is much different, as there is a large crowd of people, litter and noisy atmosphere in London. Thomas would possibly write on this negative aspect of London, at present, in reply to this poem because of his hatred for cities.
“Cynddylan on a Tractor’ by Thomas is a negative poem with a few rhymes on the theme of landscape and people. The poem starts in a very direct speech to the audience:
“Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.”
Thomas involves the reader by telling them that they should have observed the change of the Cynddylan with his tractor.
The poem is about a Cynddylan who purchases a new, modernised but ‘destructive’ tractor. The poem conveys Thomas’ despising of this tractor as it is destroying the fields and how even the Sun is metaphorically against the Cynddylan.
“The sun comes… kindling all the hedges, but not for him.”
In this quote, the poet says that the Sun leaves the Cynddylan in the shade but shines on his surroundings (even the hedges) and so shows that nature is very opposed to the tractor. Thomas believed that farming should be mostly done by hand and not by heavy destructive engine that is noisy and kills a lot of the habitat under the soil.
An example of personification is when Thomas describes negative characteristics of the tractor.
“The clutch curses, but the gears obey.”
This line uses the word ‘curses’ (a human attribute) to convey how much Thomas disgusted modernisation and to say that the gears move the tractor from the ‘harsh’ clutch cursing, adding some action to the poem.
Metaphors are also used to create further the imagery of the harmful tractor that is very valuable to the Cynddylan. Examples of metaphors in the poem include:
“He’s a new man, part of the machine,
… He is the knight at arms breaking the fields.”
These two metaphors show the change in the Cynddylan as well as, how the tractor has made the man feel powerful in his field and changed him, from a rural man to, like a urban greedy damaging man.
This poem is more descriptive and longer than ‘Tramp’ but has a similar rhythm to it. The poem was written for people who like or are able to read between the lines as this poem has a lot of this included and read best in a relatively fast pace.
The last two poems described are different in pace and theme again as Wordsworth’s ‘On Westminster Bridge’ is on landscape while the other poem is on people and landscape. Wordsworth’s poem has also a different rhyming scheme than Thomas’ with ‘On Westminster Bridge’ being a sonnet and so, a pronounceable rhyming scheme while ‘Cynddylan on a Tractor’ has a few rhyming words.
Again, Wordsworth used more descriptive words than Thomas and is longer and as well as, Thomas’ poem being more thought provoking. ‘Cynddylan on a Tractor’ has to read more than once to fully comprehend what the poet is trying convey to its audience as this poem tells of a man that seems to be varied in personality because of modern life. (Represented by the tractor)
The poem reflects the rise in urbanisation that is occurring in Wales and shows what it is ruining the landscape and ecosystem of a beautiful country. Thomas was a rural priest in Wales, so wrote negatively about the alterations made to the natural world by England and so portrays life in a different manner than optimistic Wordsworth.
After comparing two works of William Wordsworth and R L Thomas, I can conclude that the two poets write on slightly different themes but entirely varied styles. They both write on the themes of landscape with Thomas concentrating more on the theme of people as he was a priest in his younger age and worked with people every day. I can conclude that William Wordsworth uses a significantly more rhyming scheme than Thomas who relies on his striking metaphors and personifications to capture the audiences attention. (For example, ‘On Westminster Bridge’ is a sonnet and uses a very specific rhyming scheme.)
From examining the four poems, I observed that Wordsworth wrote poems in a slower rhythm because of the many descriptive words than Thomas’ shorter and quick pacing poems that are more to the point. These styles perhaps show that Wordsworth’s poems are overall, for adults and Thomas’ poems are more targeted to young people who have a wider imagination and philosophise about the countryside and modern life.
I can also conclude that Wordsworth wrote poems that are from the positive side and false, to some extent, as he only describes the positives. His poems are so written in a ‘happier’ mood than Thomas’ which are more realistic but also are biased to the negative side. Thomas’ poems are generally darker, criticise on the urbanisation in the world, and show how the countryside has been forgotten as well as people of low class shown in the ‘Tramp.’