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    The various ways in which the poets present the theme of love and loss Essay

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    “How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? ” Albert Einstein. The subject of love has always inspired poets, writers, and those lucky in love as well. Love is everything its cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more. Some of the poets who are so inspired by love are John Clare, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Browning and Edith Nesbit who wrote classic love poems.

    John Clare was an English farmer turned poet of the natural world who wrote many poems, essays and letters on love, politics, sex, corruption, etc. Christina Rossetti was also an English poet who wrote many melancholic poems with symbolic religious themes. Elizabeth Browning was a famous poet of Victorian England best known for her romance with Robert Browning and her “Sonnets From The Portuguese” which is widely read. Edith Nesbit was an English novelist, poet and writer of stories for children though her novels and poems never gained much recognition as much as her stories for children.

    First Love” by John Clare is a romantic poem about love at first sight. This poem is linked to love and loss, and has got all the sweet memories of falling in love for the first time and all the pain for losing it at the same time. “How Do I Love Thee? ” by Elizabeth Browning is about a woman analyzing how she loves her husband immeasurably. This was her last poem probably written for her husband. “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti is a blissful poem about nature filled with fecundity, and packed with nature imagery. “Remember” is also by Christina Rossetti, but is completely reverse of “A Birthday”.

    Remember” is filled with a lot of pain, and the poet is obsessed with death and death hangs throughout the whole poem. “Villegiature” by Edith Nesbit is a poem about a conflict between expectation and reality. It shows us romantic notions of what lovers ought to be. “How do I Love Thee? ” and “Remember” are both sonnets relating to love and how it is combined with death. Though in the way in which the poets approach the subject is quite different. “Remember” is a completely death obsessed poem and shows the passionate love Rossetti has for her lover. “How Do I Love Thee? ” though is still much more less disturbing than “Remember”.

    The poem starts like a mathematical problem, “let me count the ways”, measuring the different ways, “the breadth and the height” of how she loves him. In “Remember” there is more of a poignant note, “Remember me when I’m gone away. ” The whole poem echoes with “Remember me” and shows the different ways how she is so obsessed with death like, “Remember me when I’m gone far away into the silent land. ” The poem begins with a very down to earth, rational and logical way in “How do we love thee? ” but it loses all rationality by moving into spirituality.

    “My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight, For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace. She means that people are capable of love in crucial moments of time, but moments of spirituality do not arise in everyday life. In “Remember” we see that the woman is going through death where she does not want to let go her lover and is quite averse to move on or end this relationship. We know this by “When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. ” In Browning’s poem we see all the euphoric moments of love where love can be found in simple and ordinary moments of life because love is contentment, “I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

    Here we see the finest comparison of love made to sun where love is the light of the sun, but love can also be the heat, the harsh rays of the candlelight. “You tell me of our future that you planned. ” Here the woman shows that her husband who is in total command dominates her and she does not object to it. In Browning’s poem we learn that even though the poem ends with a death note it’s more heartwarming than “Remember” which is so death obsessed. The whole of Browning’s poem echoes with “I love thee”. ” I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise I love thee with passion. ” This shows pure emotions and passion for her lover.

    We learn that she has intense and extreme love, which is unaltered by people’s praises and blames. “Only remember me”, she is pleading, because she feels it will be too late “to counsel then or pray” since death will be on her soon. The woman seems determined to be remembered since she wants to keep an image of herself in her lover’s mind. We se that Rossetti compares the passion of love with passion of grief. She talks about old griefs, emotional problems that really made her sick. We learn that for adults faith can be skeptical, but for children, they either love or don’t love.

    The love that she lost has now been transformed into his love, there are no reservations in her love. “Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose, I shall love thee but better after death. ” She insinuates that if God permits, love will transcend life, beyond the barriers of love. In “Remember” we see that the octave is a repetitive call to be remembered, and as we come to the second part we notice a gradual change, that now she wants her husband to forget her because she places her husband’s happiness instead of her demands. For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had. ”

    Human beings have the capacity to forget, but all she desires is a small place in his heart. She says that sometimes you might feel a duty to be remembered but if he feels sad then its better he forgets her. We learn from Browning’s poem she has got an intense feeling for her husband where she wants to be united with her lover even after death which gives a more romantic ending to the poem whereas in Rossetti’s poem she leaves a kind of mark where you feel that she is trying to force her husband to remember her.

    The poem definitely has a lot of passion and love but has a mixture of emotions. The first part she terribly wants her husband to remember her but in the second part she reconciles with herself which shows she is not sure of what exactly she wants. Though we are sure that she loves her husband more than her demands. “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti and “Villegiature” by Edith Nesbit are both happy love poems though “Villegiature” has got a little pun in it towards the end. “A Birthday” is a very pleasant poem, which brings in it a lot of nature imagery and comparisons, a symbol of over nurturing life.

    As we read the poem, we feel that the title of the poem is too vague, it does not match the intensity of feelings until we come to the end of the line. In this poem we can find the most beautiful pictures of nature is fecundity. “Villegiature” means a withdrawal to the country. Here we learn about conflicts about expectation and reality, romantic notions of what lovers ought to be. Here the poet is soul searching and is questioning herself if she loves him or not. In the poem “A Birthday”, in the first part, the first line is a definition and the second line is the meaning of the definition.

    Apples, which has always been symbolic for sweetness is compared to love. The heart, which is like “an apple tree” is loaded with “thickset fruit”, which shows that her love is so intense for her lover. She compares love to rainbow where love has the colours of rainbow, which she further compares to a boat in the sea. In the second poem we learn that in the first part there is rural scenery present here. Here also there is a comparison of love made to a “pear tree” which is a symbol of productive love.

    She is sitting at a window contemplating and soul searching, questioning herself. White-curtained shone, and softly lighted:” A kind of mood is set for romantic thoughts. “Your ghost last night climbed uninvited. ” She is trying to convince herself that she does not like him but in reality she genuinely loves him, because no one comes into your mind unless you want him to. In the first poem, the first part has got all the comparisons of love made to “singing, heat, apple tree, and rainbow shell. ” The movement is all towards love and the poet has specifically specified the most beautiful symbols of nature.

    The second part is full of instructions where you can find a lot of symbolic connotations made to love. She specifically makes it clear that she wants him to “raise” her a “dais of silk and down” made of “purple dyes” which is a symbol of royalty. She even compares love to “pomegranates” and “peacock” which is a symbol of beauty. “Villegiature” is a total contrast of “A Birthday”. Here the poet is listing out a whole number of complaints and reasons of not loving him, where in reality she loves him passionately but is just finding reasons. “Your solid self, long leagues away, Deep in dull books, had hardly missed me. She is describing that he was a man who was earth bound and practical, never in a romantic mood, there is nothing memorial about him where she could remember him.

    She knows the type of person he is, she knows that he is a person who is not going to miss her and will never be deep in love but always deep in dull books. She has a wishful craving that he comes to her in a “Romeo’s way”. We learn that the poet is a universal symbol of an ardent lover yet imagination can play tricks. Rossetti instructs that the “dais” should be engraved in gold and silver and should be garlanded with delicate flowers. Work in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me. ” In “Villegiature” we see that the “pear tree” has been referred many times.

    She is away from the country and is totally obsessed with the man. She tries to prove that she does not love him anymore then why does she remember all those moments she spent with him, “I listened to you till the dawn, she can’t forget him despite her disapproval. She has immense fascination towards him. She is pulled between the heart and mind, “And half forgot you did not love me. She even imagines the beautiful things he might have said, “pearls of song you threaded for me. ”

    The poem ” A Birthday” is like a rainbow shell with all the colours of a rainbow, almost like a woven tapestry. All the images here are auditory, impressive and appealing to the ear, even pictures of nature are covered here, whereas in “Villegiature” there are more immature responses to love. The poet knows that she loves him but tries to prove every time that she disapproves of him when she clearly shows how deeply and passionately she is in live with him. “A Birthday” with its oriental flavour and splendour is much better “Villegiature”.

    First Love” by John Clare is a poem about love at first sight and how it is linked to love and loss. “I ne’er was stuck before that hour With love so sudden and so sweet. ” The very first line conveys the violence of emotions, “struck”, with the suddenness and sweetness of the feeling. “Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower”, this is one of the most exquisite comparison made to woman that she is like a flower. “My face turned pale as deadly pale, My legs refused to walk away. ” We are made aware of love as an overpowering emotion where the poet felt like a dead person who refused to walk away.

    He felt like he was on the top of the world “when she looked” at him. He fell to depth of despair. His “life and all turned to clay”. She had such an overpowering element in her that first he was not able to walk and now he “could not see a single thing”. His faculties are totally lost, but there is an exchange in it. He was tongue tied and couldn’t speak a word to her and now he is able to communicate through his eyes. His eyes “spoke as chords do from the string”. In the last stanza the poet is being philosophical. He is very sure of the fact that his “heart has left its dwelling place”.

    It looks as though he was doomed to die and lose, because even though he spoke through his eyes, the girl said no. This is one experience, which he will never forget where love and loss are both involved. All the poems are conveying love and they have done it effectively by adding in nature imagery, or comparisons and sometimes even symbolic elements. “How Do I Love Thee? ” is a sonnet of 14 lines. She starts her poems as a mathematical problem. “I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. ” Here similes have been used to compare the way in which she loves him.

    In this poem not much of figurative speech is used. The tone is the same throughout. The title is quite good for the poem and you are able to relate to it as well quite easily as with the title itself you get to know what the poem is about. “A Birthday” is also a sonnet of 16 lines. Throughout the first part, the poem echoes with “My heart is… ” The first part of the poem is completely covered with similes and nature imagery. Her heart is compared to “a singing bird, an apple tree and a rainbow shell. ” The second part of the poem is full of imperatives where it follows a delicate pattern of ” raise me, hang it, carve it, and work it.

    The title somehow is too vague for the poem unless we read the last line, but it would have been better if it were titled “How Do I Love Thee? ” since she is giving a full analysis of how she loves him. “Remember” is a sonnet of 14 lines. “Gone far away into the silent land. ” This is euphemism used here to show how the poet is referring to death. In this poem you do not find much of figurative speech but through out the poem thee is a gloomy atmosphere. “Villegiature” is a poem of four line stanzas. It comprises of an end rhyme and an internal rhyme. The whole poem is a mix of conflicting emotions and feelings.

    This poem has a lot of nature imagery used in it like “pear tree bloom, dewy lawn” “First Love” is a poem of three paragraphs of eight line stanzas. It consists of internal rhyme. This poem has a lot of nature imagery. Similes have been used like “Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower, My face turned pale as deadly pale” Personification is also used like ‘They spoke as chords do from the string” All the poems bring out the essence of love, but they might lack some elements. Like for “How Do I Love Thee? ” the poem starts well enough but then it gradually moves from reality to. First Love” though, is much more realistic since it shows how a person might feel when being in love.

    The feelings and reactions are beautifully explained and therefore gives a lasting impression on the reader. “Remember” conveys a message that, remember all the good times the people had and don’t remember the depressing memories. Like in the part of the poem where it says, “Better by far you should forget and smile, than that you should remember and be sad. ” Like forgetting the worse times and keeping a smile on your face rather than remember the worse times and being heartbroken about it.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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