Dealing with Death

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Dealing with death: the effect of love on death   

Death, an event that cannot be avoided is often paired with tragedy. Poem at Thirty-Nine by Alice Walker shows a daughter grieving for her dead father, Mother in a refugee camp tells the story of a mother’s care for her dying son, and Rosetti looks at a dying woman wanting her lover to forget her and move on in Remember. Death has been taken on by many poets from Thomas Hardy to Seamus Heaney, and whilst they explore death’s effect from different viewpoints, they all agree on the sorrow that it can bring.

Remember by Rosetti, a sonnet may seem to talk about love, but it is actually about forgetting love, due to death. The speaker knows death is near, so tells her partner to forget her, rather than “remember and be sad”. It deals with themes of death love and acceptance and using a gentle and loving tone, creating sympathy and pathos. A consequence of loving recklessly, Hardy's Plena Timoris connects death with love and relationships showing how difficult love is for woman, causing death as she “Drowned herself for love of a man”. Both poems are set in the Victorian era, the former giving a positive view of love whilst the latter gives a pessimistic view of love.

Also describing love between two people, Poem at thirty nine by Walker, describes parental love in a situation of poverty, only to be ended by the death of the poets father. The poet grieves, yet celebrates while writing in an autobiographical nature, making the poem more personal, thus letting us view into her nostalgic memories. “He taught me how” shows that she is grateful for her father’s life lessons. This is also reflected in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden, a poem about devastating grief, where the speaker cannot forget the partner. Both poets want to remember the dead, but for Walker, life goes on, while with Auden, it cannot.

Set in a refugee camp, the poem shows the love between the mother and child, an undesirable lifestyle of...
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