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Love is a theme long explored by poets whether it is love won or lost, unrequited love, erotic love or familial love. Show how poets work within this classic theme in at least two poems - Essay Example

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Love poetry is one of the oldest and most used forms of verse, from Homer to Shakespeare, love has always been a central interest to the literarily-inclined. These poems take a wide variety of forms and features, and even subject matter, some focusing on the beauty of youthful…
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Love is a theme long explored by poets whether it is love won or lost, unrequited love, erotic love or familial love. Show how poets work within this classic theme in at least two poems

Download file to see previous pages... “Funeral Blues” talks about how the extinguishing of one’s love in death seems to extinguish everything else in life, how one cannot imagine the world continuing when one’s beloved has died. “When You Are Old” takes a slightly different track, focusing on the wide variety of loves one experiences throughout one’s life, either “false or true” (l. 6) and from a wide variety of people. But this poem also contains a touch of the triste, asking the subject to remember how “Love fled” to be lost “among the stars,” which could either refer to an unrequited love (for example, in the subject’s youth) or losing one’s love “among the stars” through their death (l. 10-11).
One of the most interesting things about these poems it that they both adhere to a very strict rhyme scheme that they does not vary in the slightest throughout. Auden’s rhyme scheme is perhaps much more obvious, a simple A B A B pattern which draws the reader’s attention to itself, as opposed to Yeats’s more subtle A B B A which hits the reader a bit less forcefully.
Auden’s rhyme scheme, by being so obvious, somewhat removes the speaker of the poem from its events. Rhyme, like any artifice takes time and energy to create, and thus makes its creator seem in control of their faculties and at the peak of their art. This, however, jars somewhat with aspects of the poem that make the pain of death seem immediate to the speaker. Firstly, the speaker uses phrases like “The stars are not wanted now” (emphasis mine) which create immediacy and make the reader think that the sorrow has just befallen the speaker (l. 13). Secondly, the speaker uses first person, “I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong” which emphasizes that the speaker is indeed the person who has suffered the loss. This jarring contrast between the artifice of rhyme and the immediacy of pain seems somewhat problematic in this poem.
Yeats’s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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