The poets I have studied use a variety of methods to convey their ideas. These include rhyme, rhythm, emotive language, similes, metaphors and many other devices to convey their ideas and feelings affectively.
These features are used to strengthen the meaning and feeling of the poem.
One way of expressing feelings of love or marriage is by writing a Sonnet. These poems have one stanza and fourteen lines which is adequate to discuss an idea. It is not too long or short and it is not complicated or ambiguous. The following methods all show aspects and progression of ideas put across.
The first one is a tight rhyming scheme. These consist of rhyming couplets which are a pair of rhyming lines. The order of rhyming lines can vary. A group of four rhyming lines are called a quatrain. Some sonnets use quatrains others like 'How Do I Love Thee' use a totally different scheme. This consists of an 'abb' scheme. In this sonnet there a two parts separated by a Volta. A Volta is a shift in the idea of the sonnet. The two parts that it separates are called octaves and sestets. These are lines of 8 and 6 rhyming lines respectively. Another example of this shift in the idea is 'Sonnet 61'.
This shift redirects the attention and can be used to compare periods of time.
In this sonnet the poet uses the Volta to show how things were and how things are now.
Iambic Pentameters are the beat of the sonnet. This means that each line has a set of five Iams. This is the natural voice of humans and shows the feelings of the poet also giving the sonnet a steady and natural beat.
Sonnets are mostly about themes of love and emotional feelings. Poets use the all the above features to create a very emotional and strong sonnet.
The use of language in a sonnet is emotive. Words associated with love and togetherness is used very often. Poets use passionate and intimate language to maintain a smooth tone.
'My Last Duchess' is a dramatic monologue. These poems are from the view of one person, the speaker. The word mono means one and logue means to speak. This poem is about a Duke who is keeping a painting of his deceased wife. The Duke who gave 'commands' to have his wife killed for flirting and being around other men. The Duke only wants himself to see his wife, he treated her like an object to be seen and not heard.
'That's my last Duchess painted on the wall.'
This tells us that women had no voice or say of their own when involved in marriages. The Duke is selfish by keeping a curtain over the painting only he can 'have drawn' it. This shows that men wanted total control and ownership of their wives. It also tells us that women were isolated and powerless.
'Such stuff was courtesy, she thought.'
Here the Duke describes how his wife felt about smiling and being flirtatious with other men. This describes how men immediately suspected their wife of adultery if they were friendly or over courteous. When the Duke tries to explain why he didn't 'stoop' to confront his wife he mentions that he 'chose never stoop'. This gives us an image of the Duke standing above the small and meaningless Duchess. This tells us that equality in marriage was non existent and discussion and interaction about serious matters hardly took place.
The man would think that he could never go to his wife's level by even speaking to her. The Duke was very egotistic and self-centred. He thought that his 'nine hundred years old name' was a gift to his wife. This tells us that names and reputation of those names are important to man's status and his pride. This also shows that woman were supposed to be honoured by their new names. When it came to marriage, wealth and status mattered to a man. Seeing as the Duke was upper class, he considered his wife to be his 'object'.
These key examples of the writers use of language, strengthens his case that the Duke was acting suspiciously. The writer uses form and structure in the monologue to create certain ideas and themes. One idea important to the theme is how the style of the dramatic monologue has been written. This totally cancels out the Duchess' opinion on what happened, she is muted. This allows the Duke to tell his side of the argument, without interference.
The writer gradually reveals the Duke's personality and abusive ways. This makes the brutality and cruelty of the Duke acceptable. When the writer uses the typical style of the monologue he makes a stunning revelation at the end. This end is unjust and through the style of the poem he condemns marriage through the tension and also shows his own disagreement.
In the final poem, 'A Woman To Her Lover', the writer challenges a man's view on marriage an stands up for women's rights and feelings. This rebellious poem is written in the 1st person. This is more engaging and implies intimacy and conspiracy. It also accesses secret thoughts.
The writer has not only challenged men but the established structure or poems. Her poem is in free verse, which means that she and other woman should be free. Husbands in the 18th to late 19th century demanded women to be their 'bondslaves' and do what they were told. In this poem the writer disagrees with this principle.
'No servant will I be.'
Men also need women to 'bear' them children. The poet wants to be free and released from this slavery.
The way in which she destroys men's views are very effective. She first mentions two or three of their ideals and then in one emotive and powerful line she totally cancels out the negative views and lays down the lawful and positive ideals. This clever rhetoric is used throughout the poem. Not only does it add emphasis but it accentuates the positive and negative ideas and ends on a positive message.
The poems aggressive tone is supported by powerful and emotive vocabulary. In all four stanzas there are at least four to five examples. This use of powerful language not only is aggressive but also adds emphasis to her ideas. Language like 'conquer', 'golden angel', 'abasement' and 'bridal march' all support the tone and back up the writer's ideas.
When the writer questions the idea of men, the strong, rhetorical nature insures the reader will reject the negative ideas. These rebellious statements such as 'My body supple only for your sense delight,' are backed up by emotive language and powerful language. This totally excludes any other option other than the writer's.
'Oh shame, and pity and abasement.'
The exclamations at the end of the first two stanzas are aggressive and persuasive. They reinforce her ideas and support the powerful emotional tone of the poem.
'O Lover I refuse you!'
The use of connectives, like 'or' and 'but' give structure to her argument. She has one big argument with lots of parts to it. This makes the argument stronger and always puts the reader down with her use of fierce language also backs these parts to her argument up.
Christina Walsh uses alliteration in her poem like 'wakened woman'.
This draws attention to particular words and adds flow to the poem also giving emphasis to the ideas presented by the writer.
The use lists of three, such as 'comrade, friend and mate.' The power of her language reinforces the lists of three and further supports her argument.
All of the above features work together to create a strong and effective argument. They also strengthen the meaning and tone of the poem.
In conclusion these three types of poems entail use all the common and effective devices to convey their ideas in the best way possible. All of these poems reveal feelings about love and marriage and the poets' opinions on these topics.