I propose to write about four love poems from the 20th Century. These four poems are each by different poets and I have chosen from a variety of poems, which I have studied in class. The four poems that I am going to write about are each of a different situation to do with love and show different ways of expressing what is happening. The poems that I will write about are, 'The Confirmation' by Edward Muir, 'First Frost' by Andrei Voznesensky, 'An Anniversary' by Vernon Scannell and 'Love Songs in Age' by Philip Larkin.
The first poem 'The confirmation' is about a man finding the perfect woman and falling in love. The next poem, 'First Frost' is about a girl's first separation and how hurtful it is. Then 'An Anniversary' talks also about a separation but of a couple who have drifted apart after a lifetime together and finally 'Love Songs in Age' which looks back upon a couples life together from the point of view of one of them after the other has passed away. All of these poems use different styles of writing and different uses of literary features.
I will look at the content and the style of each poem; I will also show my opinion on each one. The first poem that I will write about is 'The Confirmation' by Edward Muir. This poem is about a man who has found his perfect woman and is telling her that he has been searching for her and how, she is the one for him. He begins by saying that her face is the one he has been looking for. He uses alliteration with, "Yes, yours' to emphasise that it is her he is talking to. He goes on to say that he has seen many false women and that she is true, she is honest and she has a faithful look about her. Seeing the false and searching for the true'.
I believe that he is talking about her face but that he is looking past the face and is describing how he can see through her eyes into her soul and can see what type of person she is, just by looking at her. It then seems that the man has not been looking for the girl specifically but as he goes through the path of life he comes across her and she welcomes him like a home. 'Then find you as a traveller finds a place, of welcome suddenly amid the wrong. ' It is like a subconscious searching.
It is a simile; he means that he finds her suddenly in the hard times in his life and it is as if he never expected to find her; as a traveller would never expect to find a place of rest amongst rocks and mountains. The man then goes on to say that she is life? saving and necessary to him. He says, 'a well of water in a country dry' which is a metaphor. He could mean that she is saving him from death metaphorically for example, saving him from his downward spiral in life and his hard times or he could mean that she is saving him from certain feelings dying. She has also refreshed him as water does.
Well of water' is also alliteration which Muir uses to emphasise how refreshing she is and how important it is that she has saved him. The man then says that she has brightened up his life and the world by her honesty and truthfulness, which has helped everybody especially him. The "whole world' is also alliteration, which Muir uses to emphasise everybody being affected by her honesty. The reference again to the eye also suggests that by looking into her eyes he can see her personality; like a gateway to the soul. He says, "An eye that makes the whole world bright'.
The man then goes on to praise the girl and say how wonderful she is, he says, 'simple with giving, gives the primal deed. ' In this sentence, he uses the verb to give twice; this suggests that she is very generous and he is emphasising this. He also says that she has an, 'open heart', which means that she is very kind and caring to everybody, which is more praise. The man goes on to compare with 'the blowing seed'. He means that her happiness and smile spreads throughout everybody and multiplies, and that she is beautiful like 'the blossom'. Muir is also using alliteration and a metaphor in the same sentence.
He continues to say that she is one of the most beautiful things in life, not just physically but her personality is as well. He describes her as 'the hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea', which is also a metaphor. These are also many of the good things in life, brighten up life, and are beautiful. To finish the poem the man says that all of these things are not 'beautiful or rare in every part', but like her they are 'meant to be'. He is referring to his relationship with her and that though it may not be completely perfect but that it is meant to be and that he is supposed to be with her.
This poem has a good well-structured rhythm and contains about 10 syllables per line. It is also very lyrical and flows easily. It does have rhyming but it is not structured. I really liked this poem because it is very much like a fantasy story and is romantic. The poem is very effective at putting the point across that the man truly loves the girl and everything about her. He praises her a lot and shows his love, it seems slightly unreal which gives it the fantasy element. I really liked the style in which Muir used, he used a lot of metaphors and similes in this poem and the way the poem flowed easily made it effective.
The next poem that I am going to write about is 'First Frost' by Andrei Voznesensky', this poem is about a girl having a conversation in a telephone booth that hurts her feelings, which results in her first separation and split. It starts by describing her in the booth as freezing, which shows that the conversation is cold and harsh. She is also 'huddled in a flimsy coat' which suggests that she is all squashed up trying to keep herself warm, either literally or metaphorically; she could be trying to protect herself from the pain and hurt of the conversation but not very well, like a thin coat can not protect from the cold.
She knows that she cannot protect herself from what her boyfriend is saying and the word 'flimsy' suggests that this is true but she is trying. The girl has been crying so much that her face is 'stained' and 'smeared with lipstick' which suggests that she was crying and sobbing a lot and was trying to not let the boyfriend hear and so was trying to muffle the sound from her mouth which resulted in her lipstick getting smeared. It shows how upset she was.
The poem goes on to say that 'she breathes on her thin little fingers', to keep them warm and as it uses the adjectives 'thin' and 'little' it suggests that she is delicate and can be easily harmed. It backs this up when it compares her fingers with ice, 'fingers like ice'. This is a simile, which also suggests that she is dainty and precious and that she can be harmed easily. This, is then again backed up with 'glass beads in her ears', which can be described as either tears, or rain settling there. This is a metaphor; it is comparing her tears with glass, which describes them as precious and fragile.
It could also be interpreted as earrings, which would also show her as special and beautiful but at the same time delicate. The poem then goes on to say that she has to 'beat her way back alone down the icy street', which could be interpreted in two ways, either she literally had to find her way home whilst feeling as frail as she is and lonely. On the other hand, it could be a metaphor suggesting that she has to find her way through life on her own and 'beat' suggests that that will be hard for her.
The 'icy' street suggests that the path in life that she now must follow will be slippery, cold, harsh and could hurt her, it will also be hard to follow and difficult; maybe because she no longer has him to help. As the poem continues, 'First frost' implies that in this maybe happy time in her life this has been the first hurtful and cold thing that has happened to her. It is metaphorical, it could also mean that it is her first separation and split with a man that she loves. It is like, the first ice in late autumn will destroy the flowers and plants; this conversation will destroy her feelings and hurt her harshly.
The poem also says that it is 'a beginning of losses, the first frost of telephone phrases. ' This also shows that her boyfriend has split with her over the phone and that it could just be the first time that she has separated with someone over the phone. By repeating the words, 'first frost' in the next line also puts emphasis on the situation and how painful it really is for her. The last line in the poem also backs up the point that it is her first separation from a man that she loves because it says, 'the first frost of having been hurt.
The poem gives the reader a feeling of loneliness on the girl's part and that she is lost and cannot find her way down her path in life. A person phoning their partner to announce their choice to separate from them is going to be painful anyway but this seems deeper and this poem gives us the feeling that the girl is felling great hurt. In the last two lines of the poem it makes a reference to the 'start of winter' which backs up the point that I made earlier which is that now that this has happened it is going to be the start of a harsh, cold and hurtful period in the girl's life.
The words, 'start of winter glittering on her cheek', link this to her crying. This is a metaphor to describe her tears; it shows her tears again as precious but harsh and painful. The poem has no structured rhyme scheme and no controlled rhythm. It uses many metaphors and similes, which in most circumstances can be interpreted as metaphors or similes, or literally. The words 'first frost' have been used quite a lot throughout the poem and are also the title, which the poet has done as a means of emphasis on exactly how painful and upsetting the situation really is and is also, a metaphor and alliteration.
I really enjoyed reading this poem and I think that the way in which it is written is very effective. It's language and the style in which it is written give the overall effect that the poet intended. It seems very deep and meaningful and it portrayed a very good picture of how a girl would feel in this kind of situation; I also liked the use of lots of metaphors. The next poem that I would like to write about is called 'An Anniversary' and is written by Vernon Scannell.
This poem is about a couple's relationship together and how it has changed throughout the years. The whole poem is a metaphor, which compares the lives of the couple with two leaves, which are floating down the river. The first verse begins with the word 'Endlessly', which suggests that maybe this couple were married and that the 'stream' refers to their life together and suggests that the life of the couple together is just going on. It seems quite emotionless and with no feeling which could reflect their relationship together.
It could also be seen that they are stuck 'endlessly' together. Alternatively, it could also be interpreted that the 'stream' is referring to life in general and that it 'endlessly' passes each of us by without a thought from anybody. In the second line, it tells of a 'white flat stone', which is distorted by the river when it is looked at through the water. ' This suggests their relationship is not all that it seems and is maybe comparing the 'white flat stone' with the truth or innocence and purity; the word flat also suggests shapeless and simple.
It could mean that their relationship may appear to be based on the truth and simpleness but when looking at it closer it is distorted. Alternatively, it could mean that each piece of truthfulness and purity in their relationship is shaken about and is un? sturdy like jelly. In the next line the words 'which stares', which are referring to the stone is personification because stones cannot see this adds depth to the situation because they, as couple are looking at their relationship through life's 'slithering window', so their view of their relationship may not be right.
It continues with the stone looking through the stream 'at the sky's smeared monotone'. The word 'monotone' implies that their relationship is routine and has lost character and has no life left in it; it is just like a chore. It shows that their relationship is lacking in love and truth and has become lifeless. This phrase and the first one put together could be interpreted to mean that maybe some way or other life always seems to distort the truth and has maybe caused problems in their relationship.
The next line could also be how truth is always confronted by evil when trying to come out in the open; the word 'slithering' also suggests a snake which is often used to relate to evil. I think that it is trying to say that truth has to believe in itself and that people look for a clear 'sky' but all they see is a smeared picture due to the path of life. Basically, I think that the 'stream' is life and the poem is telling us how the bad things in life can affect our views. It is all one metaphor and can have many interpretations.
Throughout this whole first verse, there has also been minor alliteration because many of the adjectives began with the letter s. The letter s gives a soft sound, which could have been used to show emphasis on the feeling that it was inevitable and maybe there was regret for the situation. The second verse shows that they have actually grown apart and that it has got to a stage where they cannot grow close again but there must still be a link between them maybe from the heart and the same distance will always remain but never become more.
This is shown in the words, 'the distance never changing. ' They are now leaves floating on the river, which could be a downward spiral of upset and distress. The water's 'shimmering skin' is also alliteration, with the letter s, which again could be used to show that there was sorrow in their relationship and regret for whatever had gone wrong. It is also personification because water does not have a skin. The last verse talks about the life that they used to have together, how they 'danced and often touched each other' and how they enjoyed it and had fun.
The line 'often touched each other' could be that the distance between them was at some times non? existent between them and that they were as close together as possible. It is a metaphor and by saying that they 'will not touch each other again' suggests that they will never be able to become close again in love and that whatever has happened between them has separated them forever. This verse is very repetitive and simple in language, which shows that it is blunt and straight to the point. It shows the feeling of the poem and shows that what it is saying is definite and affirmed.