Home Is Where the Heart Is

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‘Home is where the heart is.’ Compare and contrast the ways in which home is presented in at least two poems in the light of this claim.

It is clear to determine that the semantic fields of both poems include childhood, reminiscence, starting anew and melancholy. ‘Autobiography’ by Louis MacNeice challenges the proposition that home is where the heart is. MacNeice has displayed an opposing attitude towards home-life; “my father made the walls resound”. This quote shows that life at home for him was not pleasant as his father would shout a lot; this being signified through the personification of the walls resounding. This is very much like ‘Baby Song’ in the terms that that poet has conveyed a conflicting attitude towards its new surrounding; “I fall into the lighted room”. The word fall suggests an accident, something not supposed to happen willingly. Both of these quotes suggest the unwillingness of not wanting to be at ‘home’ because they don’t like how it is. The word home suggests a place which is warm and cosy and people are meant to feel at ease. ‘Baby Song’ uses these concepts but applies it in a different way. We understand that for the baby, who is the voice of the poem, the womb is where he belongs. We can understand this because he was at ‘private ease’ in the womb but as soon as ‘a rain of blood poured around the womb’ he felt uncomfortable and ‘things were different’. We get the same sense of wanting to go back in time in ‘Autobiography’ since MacNeice’s childhood was ‘green’, suggesting a lovely place where he was free to roam but things changed and ‘nothing was quite the same’. In both poems it is easy to detect the emphasis of things changing and the voices of the poem not growing and adapting to the changes. This is exhibited in the Volta in ‘Autobiography’ after we learn of the death of the poet’s mother. He longs so much for her return that the ‘greens’ and ‘yellows’ of life before his mother’s decease, has now darkened into ‘black...
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