‘It would appear that people have one intention: to destroy the land they so clearly love’. Using The Trees Are Down as a starting point, compare and contrast the manner in which poets present the wilful destruction of the environment in at least one other poem.
The Tress Are Down is a poem by Charlotte Mew that describes the destruction of the trees that she grew up with and always knew throughout her childhood and later life. Going Going is a poem by Philip Larkin that at the time was foreshadowing the destruction of what is now known as global warming. The poem anticipates our 21st Century preoccupation with the often destructive impact we have upon the land around us that we supposedly love. Both poems present similar and also different ways of presenting the wilful destruction of the environment. This can be by the use of structure, poetic techniques as well as imagery.
The Trees Are Down is split into five stanzas, all of which are deliberately awkward. The syntax appears broken and abrupt like in the line that reads ‘one bough’ where there are little words that barely make up part of a sentence and may be overlooked by some readers. However, the small syntax is key as the ‘one bough’ is the moment when the last of the trees are falling down. The poem is carefully crafted to give off a feel of real emotion Charlotte Mew felt when the trees that she knew and loved were being knocked down. Whereas, Going Going is split into nine stanzas which are fairly similar in size. The stanzas flow from one to another and have a straight forward, lyrical style. The lyrical style gives a sense of the nostalgia for the way of life that was already changing when the poem was written. For example, in Larkin’s eyes the UK is becoming the ‘first slum of Europe’ and is continuing to change. The flowing of the stanzas shows the disaster that is global warming is ongoing, rather than the short cutting down of the plane-trees which only lasted ‘for days’. The fact that The...
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