‘A Married State’ is written by a poet named Katherine Philips, the poem is based around the negativity of a life since a man and women ever join in holy matrimony. Whereas, The ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ is by a poet named Alice Grey Jones; the poem is based around life’s involvement on a growing family. The two poems that are based on the thoughts of marriage and a women’s role within it, they take sharply opposite views. A Married State’ is set in a negative tone; the reader is drawn into the intense atmosphere on lines 1-2, ‘A married state affords but little ease: The best of husbands are so hard to please. ‘
It describes the hard life of a strained married hood ‘little ease’ elaborates more on the husband’s and wife’s relationship showing the very little freedom in their relationship, for the wife to break through into pleasure would be a struggle even with ‘the best of husbands’. Whereas, ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ is set in a positive tone in the comparison to marriage in lines 1-5 ‘My hands are none to white’… But my hands are not complaining’. It describes a wives believes that all her labor is beneficial to the ones she loves, her family, reaching out the audiences sympathy for motherhood, the author also uses adjectives to create this effect.
There are 4 stanzas in the poem; each stanza is in chronological order in family ageing. For this reason the language of the poem is very informative and simple, reaching an audience of the common housewives so that the readers can easily relate. A Married State’ is written in 3rd person, throughout the poem there are 7-9 syllables per line creating an consistent rhythm making the atmosphere quite dismal towards the reader.
The poem is written in only 1 stanza to become straight to complex with the middle class housewives, especially in lines 7-9, ‘No blustering husbands to create your fears, No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears, No children’s cries for to offend your ears,’ the author uses repetition to create listed reasons of a sorrow life, developing a persuasive response directly at the reader by also using personal pronouns such as ‘you’.
Philips exemplifies a truthful warning from an idealistic view of a wives life, that marriage it will always end up disastrous in love and motherhood, creating a completely opposite tone towards ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’. ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ is written in 1st person to describe her true emotions and effects of a housewife throughout the poem there are also on average 7 syllables per line creating an consistent rhythm making a happy atmosphere towards the reader, in lines 2-8 ‘They’re rough and ugly to your sight’… My happy little family, like a nest. ‘
The poet’s background is correlating with the poem by expressing the wives emotive language; she signifies her own thoughts and puts a hold to different opinions because she believes there is a satisfaction to motherhood, this is also express by using the simile ‘like a nest’, presuming that she take full responsibility to her children, like a bird protecting her nest of eggs.
In S3L2 another simile is used, ‘like glad little chicks in a throng,’ referring to the first simile ‘like a nest’, a close family, creating an enchanting atmosphere towards the poet and the reader. ‘A Married State’ gives out a large contrast with negativity in a formal way of emphasizing how satisfactory unmarried is, in line 11, ‘Attend on matrimony and husband too. The poet describes marriage to be a trap that brings anxiety to a women’s life, creating tension and passion towards the reader. This effect is also created in lines 13-14, ‘Turn, turn apostate to love’s levity. Suppress wild nature if she dare rebel. ‘ The poem is cry out to women, it’s a warning to the reader. The idea of slavery may be suggested to the reader, their life will be a ‘suppress’ and the wife would have to obey from the rules she is given, it’s a life of torment.
Again the author uses repetition to create a concealed position towards the poet and also developing a persuasive response directly at the reader. The ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ uses a technique of metaphors aswell as similes, once you reach near the end of the poem on the fourth stanza metaphors are being used instead of similes, ‘But, alas they’ve all grown up, And all have left the nest,’ referring to the children being all grown up with no need for protection, being mature enough to make their own decisions.
Whilst the mother however, feels worthless ‘all have left’ and that all has been done and she is left undesired (S4L7-8) ‘Is now quite useless- a bird without wings; A mam’s initiative unwanted, no more for her to do! ‘ the exclamation mark is used to indicate the strong pastionate feelings from the poet and to reach out sypathy from the reader expressing mixed emotions of depression and pleasure, simply towards the endings of motherhood, creating a still warm atmosphere. Reaching out an idealistic view of a happy and enjoyable motherhood. A Married State’ is more of the adverse to ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ because ‘A Married State’ sends out a cold hearted message mainly for the single women as an warning that they’re better off single, the poem is gleaming out with negativity which grows as the reader starts to read more and more of the poem.
In the last line there is a clear showing and understanding of the hate and the view of women getting married is an easily sacrifice to hell, ‘There’s no such thing as leading apes in hell. The punctuation creates a sudden stop to the poem, making it clear to the reader that the poet has proved her point, the poet has used a similar technique as ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ by using an metaphor and the end of the poem, ‘as leading apes to hell’ the verb ‘leading’ creates a sharp thought of being treated as a slave, the word ‘lead’ in Tudor English means to have sexual intercourse, so that the poet is rephrasing marriage women to a pet, in all very critical view of marriage.
Whilst comparing the two poems in conclusion, I prefer ‘Song of a Worker’s Wife’ because it demonstrates how emotions can deeply affect a human and ultimately our personal well-being. Comparing to nature processes to express how the poet can use the strategy of resentment and one of the most powerful emotions of all, love, to create a reader’s attention.