The two poets I will be comparing are William Wordsworth and R.S. Thomas. Both of these poets wrote in the theme of scenic areas, people and landscape but had very different views. William Wandsworth was a romanticist meaning that he saw beauty in everything. R.S. Thomas was a realist meaning that he wrote more realistically including both positive and negative points in his work.
I will first compare “On Westminster Bridge” by Wordsworth and “A day in autumn” by R.S Thomas. William Wordsworth’s poem “On Westminster Bridge” is a detailed description of the view of London in the Morning from Westminster Bridge. The theme of the poem is therefore landscape and scenic areas. R.S. Thomas’s poem is also a description; it describes the scenery of a day in autumn probably set in a woodland also based on the theme of landscape.
Comparing the poems with one another I first picked up that they are equally written from first person perspectives which help to express that these are the writer’s real thoughts and feelings. R.S Thomas concentrate’s on the general scene, especially the atmosphere and natural landscape. William Wordsworth also focuses on the general scene; but he goes into more detail with everything. There is a lot of attention put on the environment around, buildings, rivers etc. William Wordsworth’s poem does employ a rhyme scheme. This scheme is: A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, C, D, C, D, C, D. R.S Thomas’ poem does not rhyme, meaning that he has not incorporated a rhyme scheme. The main difference between the two poems is the mood. William Wordsworth tries to give off a very positive mood because he is a romanticist he sees only beauty and ignores the negative points.
The whole poem is about the beauty of the view. R.S Thomas on the other hand is a realist; his poem initially gives off a negative/realistic mood when he says “it will not always be like this.” But this changes after this line to describing the beauty of the autumn scene. His poem, much like Wordsworth’s contains a lot of adjectives and complex language to help describe the beauty of the views. A day in autumn is very clearly a descriptive type poem as the author is describing a scene. The same goes for William Wordsworth’s poem, Westminster Bridge. William Wordsworth tries to create an image of the city in the readers mind using his highly figurative and descriptive language. Although there is no irony or unexpected twists in his poem he still manages to create this picture using his wording, he does not change the mood of his poem at all. Also similes and personification is used to help create a better effect (The city now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning). R.S Thomas also attempts to do this and also succeeds. He used an unexpected twist his poem and also makes use of many adjectives and highly figurative phrases. He does also change the mood from a negative one to a positive one at one point.
The period that the poem was written in would affect the writer’s style and mood. William Wordsworth was born a long time ago (in 1770) so he would be describing London from a long time ago, before it was industrialised, polluted and when people had a more positive view on it. R.S Thomas was born quite recently and died into the 20th centaury. At this time there is a lot more negativity in the world with wars and political issues. This may have been why R.S Thomas chose to become a realist. The structure of William Wordsworth’s poem is similar to the one of R.S Thomas. They are both physically set out in one large paragraph, and are both sonnets. Westminster Bridge has not been split into different arguments or parts. A day in autumn appears to be set out in the same physical way, furthermore with no differing parts. In Westminster Bridge the poem is personal, you can tell this because it has bee written in the 1st person and is as if the poet is actually there, describing the scene to you. The A Day in autumn poem is also the same, personal and is as if the scene is being described to you by someone who is actually been there. The poets are actually in the poem experiencing the things they are describing.
Personally I think that William Wordsworth’s poem is the most effective as goes into more detail with his descriptions, where as R.S Thomas decided to keep it short but complex. Both poems although do achieve what they set out to do. These two poems by Wordsworth and R.S Thomas focused mainly on landscape.
I will now be comparing to other poems by the same authors that focus on the theme of people. The two poems that I have chosen are The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth and Tramp by R.S Thomas. These two poems are both written on the theme of people but once again the two poets have a very different attitude.
The solitary Reaper is about a woman who is working hard reaping in a field with her sickle, she is singing happily while she is doing this. You can instantly tell that this is another one of Wordsworth’s romanticist poems, he still manages to see beauty in hard labour work. The poem concentrates on the woman’s singing rather than her. Tramp is a poem about new technology and the world getting better but there are still people left behind from these new innovations, who have a quality of life as bad as a tramp. The mood of William Wordsworth’s poems again a very positive one, he includes no negativity. Tramp conversely includes a lot of negativity; this is once again a realistic poem. Solitary reaper is set in a field where a female is performing hard physical labour, where as tramp has two settings it starts off at the front door to a house and then moves on to a street. Solitary Reaper is a descriptive poem as the author just describes the work this woman is doing and her singing.
The same goes for Tramp, R.S Thomas is just describing the tramps life style compared to him. The language in solitary Reaper is not highly figurative as there is no irony, unexpected twists or similes and metaphors. The Tramp poem also is not highly figurative as again it does not contain any of the requirements it become so. The style in both poems is complex as many figures of speech are included in the works. The period would severely affect R.S Thomas’s work as he wrote about how the world was getting better with new modern technology. If the poem was written in the past he probably wouldn’t write about this subject as it wouldn’t make sense. Also in the past there was a lot less negativity in the attitude towards civilisation compared to now. William Wordsworth wrote his poem pre 19th centaury so he would have completely different opinions of things compared to people now-a-days. The solitary reaper is split into 4 paragraphs or verses each verse with 8 lines. Tramp is a much shorter poem and is split into 3 sections, each with 5 lines. Solitary reaper is in the 1st person perspective meaning that the poem is actually experiencing what is happening in the poem. In the poem the poet makes references to him self as well (I saw her singing at her work;)
Personally I think William Wordsworth did achieve what he set out to do. His poem included descriptive language to really give it an effect and he used a first person perspective to show that these were his real thoughts and feelings. R.S Thomas also displayed that his work did what it was set out to do. Using short but comparative sentences he successfully managed to show that the tramp was left behind after the new innovations in technology.
Finally both poets have very effective work. The main difference between the poets is the period that the poems are written in. William Wordsworth had a much similar mind, he would have had a much different view point to a more modern man like R.S Thomas who was more complex. The other main difference is the mood. William Wordsworth, being a romanticist would have always only written about the beauty in everything. He would completely ignore the negativity. R.S Thomas would write about both the beauty and positive points and the negative ones. R.S Thomas was a more realistic man and his work reflected this. William Wordsworth almost lived in his own fantasy world were there was only beauty, and he wrote about everything from there.