When we two parted is a poem, with a theme about loss, which was written by Lord Byron
‘Thy vows are all broken,’ ‘And light is thy fame:’ which implies she broke their relationship and she was fickle, but Byron is grief stricken ‘half broken-hearted’ and ‘silence and tears’ and he regrets that their relationship was not as special as he believed it to be. ‘share in its shame’ it was thought of lightly by her.
Byron portrays the feeling of loss, but we get the impression that their relationship was not that great anyway. In the third verse he starts to question himself whether it was really love ‘why wert thou so dear?’ the last verse reflects how angry and betrayed he felt ‘thy spirit deceive’
Another theme is celebration, the birthday by Christina Rossetti is about celebrating her religion, Christina Rossetti is referring to her love for God ‘my heart is gladder than all these, Because my love is come to me.’ Her faith makes her feel reborn ‘Because the birthday of my life is come, my love is come to me.’ Rossetti uses a lot of natural and religious imagery to celebrate her love for God ‘singing bird.’
Christina Rossetti suffered from a long-term illness, she turned down two marriage proposals, but she was extremely religious, she was very unsatisfied with life, except for when it came to God. Another poem written by her is called Remember.
Remember has a sad, melancholic tone to the poem, ‘remember me when no more day-by-day’ it is written in the first person narrative. She uses repetition a lot, to get her point across, the word ‘remember’ occurs five times in the fourteen-line poem. For the first eight lines Rossetti only talks about remembering her, but on the 9th line she starts to talk about forgetting ‘if you should forget me’ Rossetti uses juxta positioning to portray the difference between the first 8 lines and the last 6 lines by contrasting the words ‘silent land,’ and ‘darkness and corruption.’ Christina Rossetti uses euphemism that gets us thinking about what Rossetti is actually talking about. ‘gone far away into the silent land.’
Just like Rossetti had love for her religion, John Clare had a different kind of love for his first love.
John Clare was known for his romantic poetry, he was born in 1789 during the French revolution, he was interested in nature and he changed the way we write poetry today. First love, just like remember, is also written in the first person narrative; John Clare uses alliteration to evoke a feeling of love ‘so sudden and so sweet.’ He repeats a lot of words like sweet and pale. Each verse shows a progression of time; in the second verse John Clare uses slightly irregular metaphor punctuation, which reflects the irregular emotions and the state of mind he is in.
In the last verse, he describes his first love very positively, ‘I never saw so sweet a face’ the image adds to the feeling of love, romance and adoration. In this poem, John is comparing her to nature ‘sweet flower’ John’s use of language is constantly using similes to describe his feelings and thoughts.
Someone with the same name, John Keats wrote La belle dames sans merci, the fact that the title is in French gives us a sense of romance. A la belle dame sans merci means the beautiful lady without pity. The first two verses are just setting the scene, then in the third verse the story begins ‘and on thy cheeks a fading rose’ which sounds like someone is dying but not necersalily for real, ‘a faery’s child’ reinforces the idea that it is a fantasy. Throughout the poem we discover that fantasy figures are used and the language is in an old form, known as archaic terms, John Keats wrote the poem as a ballad, even though it is not, which tells us love is imperfect. Other imagery is used like coldness, death and love ‘sweet moan’. John Keats uses imagery to portray his grief in the last verse he says ‘alone and palely loitering…the sedge has wither’d from the lake,’
There is a huge contrast between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Keats style of writing. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote how do I love thee? The poem attempts to describe the great power of her love she has for him, she does this by using abstract and unquentifiable things, as her love is too strong to be measured. Browning includes abstract concepts which are used to describe love as ‘soul’, ‘grace’, rights and characterised moments. ‘I love thee’ is repeated 9 times throughout the poem making it obvious that she loves her partner, Robert Browning. Repetition is used to emphasis the theme of the poem, Browning uses similes, which compares her love to the best of mankind. The whole poem is an extended metaphor of love, since words are barely able to describe how she feels.
A women to her lover by Christina Walsh, has a bit of a different idea to love for their men. Christina Walsh wrote in free verse, she used no rhythm or rhyme scheme and she used no regular line lengths. It is obvious there is a lack of regularity of emotion, there are short sentences and a desire to resist stereotype of refusal. The stanza length varies, as if Walsh stops when she has run out of things to say. The first stanza is very confrontational, whereas the second uses classic love language to show the idealised female stereotype and the third stanza uses alluring and sexual language to represent stereotype of women as a sex object, finally the forth stanza has language of equality and contains abstract imagery to present real love. ‘we shall have the music of the spheres for bridal march.’
However, first love has three regular stanzas and strong regular rhythm and rhyme makes the poem seem like a song. This simple structure contrasts with his irregular emotions, perhaps the verse is constrained by the rhythm in the same way that he is constrained by the formal social setting in which he meets her, ‘I could not see a single thing, words from my eyes did start:’ or maybe the simple form suggests something simple about the power of love.
Love, loss and death is such a universal theme as: everyone loves, everyone loses and everyone dies. Each poem has their own individual story behind them and the message that we can see is very effective, I felt Remember by Christina Rossetti was a very moving poem and I believe it covered all the themes of love ‘you tell me of our future’ loss ‘you can no more hold me by the hand’ and death ‘if darkness and corruption leave.’
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