Love poems can be written in many different ways. Elizabeth Barret Browning. Modern day love poems can be completely different to traditional and old love poems. A modern day love poet is Alasdair Maclean. He has written many modern love poems, such as, “Question and Answer,” and he’s still doing them to this day. Elizabeth Barret Browning is also a love poem writer but all her love poems are traditional and classical as she was a writer in 1850s. She has also written many love poems in her lifetime including, “Sonnet 43,” which has an idealistic view of love.
Alasdair Maclean chose a very short and simple but puzzling title of his love poem, “Question and Answer,” from this Maclean gives nothing away about the poem. Before you read the poem, there’s no link to the theme of the poem which is love. The title isn’t emotional just like the poem which is strange as love is an emotion! The poem starts of in direct speech, with the question, “Do you love me,” which immediately creates questions in our mind, such as, who is talking to who and what type of relationship they have.Order now
One thing you can tell straight away is that the relationship is insecure and that the poem is about love. In line three there is another sentence which is even more demanding than the last one, “say you love me,” this makes the audience wonder what type of person she really is. Does the person saying it give any choice? As he/ she give no choice, it makes them sound rude and demanding. This sentence is also in direct speech but the poem is in direct speech. This means that everything in speech marks is what the speaker was thinking in his mind.
This makes the poem very effective as we will be informed of his feelings. Therefore, in the poem, most feelings that are talked about are about one person. There is a sudden change in the poem when Maclean changes the subject from a relationship (love) to a childhood event. When he, “was very young,” he, “saw a rat caught in a trap”. This is an example of assonance as the vowel, “a,” is repeated in rat and trap. It almost sounds as if the speaker thinks it’s funny. He even remembers the rat, “squeling and snapping.
The use of onomatopoeia lets us almost hear it as we read it which helps us get a clearer view of the rat trying to escape. Next the speaker says that, “the cage was lowered into the water. ” This sentence is short which refers to the way the rat was killed, which is slowly without giving the rat a chance to escape. The word, “lowered,” has a long, “l,” sound which again reflects the death of the rat. The speaker, for the third time, uses a long sentence which mirrors the death of the rat. There is clear imagery when the speaker tells us that, “the dead rat clung to the roof.
The imagery and the use of strong emotional words like, “clung,” and, “dead,” make it seem realistic as it probably was a horrible sight, especially for a young child to see a rat cruelly being killed. The long sentence is a snapshot moment of the speakers life when, “he,” was very young. It’s a snapshot moment of his life because it’s full of lots of descriptive words and it’s one of his memories. The subject then suddenly changes for the second time from the rat story to his relationship. It’s obvious the speaker is comparing the rat in the cage with him, he feels trapped just like the rat.
Someone else in the poem, unknown to the reader, asks the speaker demanding question about his love to her which makes him feel this way. We find out that he doesn’t express his feelings to the other person though. He tells us this when he mentions that, “all this I say to myself. ” Nearer to the end of the poem, he reveals to the reader that he does reply to the other person that he loves, her but he sounds as if he had been forced to say it because he says it, “sullenly but truthfully. He sounds like he’s been forced to say it because he says it in an almost rehearsed, rude way, “the words you want to hear. It has that rhythmic beat to it.
“She then turns her back for sleep. ” It makes the reader wonder if she believed him because he says she is only, “satisfied. ” It didn’t seem as he wanted to say it. In the final sentence, the speaker fully expresses how his lover has made him feel. He tells us he feels like the rat, “feeling the taste of the wire. ” To the audience, the speaker seems to be a very sensitive and sad person. It sounds as if he over exaggerated his feelings, how can you feel so trapped and left in the darkness by someone asking a question?
He even mentions that he feels, “the cold water flow over,” him. It’s a very sad and gruesome ending and it leaves us with many unanswered questions about their relationship. I think that Maclean wanted us, the audience, to realise that love can’t be taken and if it does, then it won’t work out. So he gave us an example of what would happen when someone tries to take it; you feel trapped. Therefore indirectly, he is giving us a message that love should be given, not taken. The theme of the poem is lobe although there isn’t any secure lobe in the poem, it teaches us about love.
As Alasdair Maclean is a modern day poet (still alive now), who knows that this type of thing, someone trying to take someone other person love happens quite often these days. Browning also starts of her poem with a question just like Maclean but unlike MacLean’s poem, the audience notice straight away that her poem is about the love (it has a love theme). In the second line, she exclaims that she will, “count the ways,” in which she loves her husband. This sonnet is about her lobe to her husband so we know who she is talking to whereas in MacLean’s poem, it is not clear who he is talking to.
The immediate response to most readers would be that this is a boring poem which just lists the way someone loves someone else. But the poem is not like that, Browning writes in such a way that it doesn’t sound like a simple list. You have to find the inner meaning of each sentence to find the inner meaning of each sentence to find a reason for her love. As love cannot be measured in numbers, she cleverly states that she loves her husband, “to the depth and breadth and height,” her, “soul can reach. ” She gives her lobe 3 dimensions which makes her love seem intense.
She emphasis the point of her love more by splitting each word with the word, “and,” instead of using commas. She did this as it makes the sentence even longer increasing her love to him. Maclean doesn’t tell us any reason why he loves his lover although he does admit he loves her. In MacLean’s poem, the speaker is having his love taken from him whereas the speaker in this poem (Browning) is giving her love. For the second time, Browning gives us a measurement of her love when she says she loves him to the height, “her soul can reach.
This could also mean that she has some religious belief. In the next line there’s another sense of religiousness when she mentions, “ideal grace,” as it refers to God. She even lets us know that she can’t live without him, when she states that he is her, “most quiet need. ” It also makes her seem strongly attracted to him from all the reasons so far, including this one. Next, there’s another piece of evidence which shows that Browning is giving her love. She loves him, “purely,” so that must mean she has no obligations to her love and that it’s pure love.
To back up the point that she loves him, “purely,” she tells us that she loves him with her, “childhood faith. ” She is comparing her love she has to him with the belief a small child has because they have strong beliefs and they require no proof for them. In, Question and Answer the speaker also refers his feelings to a childhood event, but in a depressing and negative way.
The last sentence stands out in this poem, just like in, Question and Answer. In this poem Browning claims that she will love him, “better after death. It could mean that she will keep loving him more and more as the days go on. It makes the audience think that her love is eternal. It could also be interpreted as, yet another religious belief. On the other hand, Maclean completes his poem horribly and sadly about his feelings. It also leaves us with many unanswered questions, whereas Browning’s poem assures us with no doubts that, she loves him truly. I think that the one main difference between the two poems is the type of love. Browning loves her husband, “freely,” and the speaker in Maclean’s poem is being forced to love someone.
I think the message Browning wanted to get across to us is that love should always be given and not taken or expected back. I think this because she never talks about what her husband thinks about her. She also shows that there can be no limit to how much you can love someone, so she may have wanted us to know that. So people who read any one of these poems, get the same messages and thoughts. Love should be given, not forced to give or taken. I therefore think that the theme of love is explored in opposite ways although it seems like both poets are trying to give us the same message.
The first one is more like a story, telling us what will happen if you take love and the other one tells us what it’s like when you do the opposite. I learnt that you should never take love from someone as it is a very special feeling therefore it should be given. From the first poem I realised how it can make you feel if your love is taken from you. From the second poem (Browning’s), I found out what it feels like for the person that is giving the love to someone else. Browning seemed extremely happy giving her love to her husband.