Poetry and St. Vincent Millay

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ESSAY WRITING TASK
By Emily Law
The Cambridge Dictionary definition of a poem that is used today is a form of literature that has beautiful or emotional qualities. This definition is extremely general definition and doesn’t cover even half of what poetry is really about. The things that can tell poems apart are ambiguity, symbolism, irony and other elements. Similes, metaphors and other imagery words can paint new pictures in the reader’s mind. In this weeks’ pamphlet, we are asked to “Discuss the ways in which Bertolt Brecht, Philip Larkin and Edna St. Vincent Millay achieve different purposes in their poetry, despite their use of the same subject.” In this case, the subjects of these three poets’ poems are leaves. In all poems, each has a very different message behind their theme. I will explain each message and how the different message is created using the same subject. In text one, “Send Me a Leaf”, Bertolt Brecht’s poem is strong, succinct and clear. It sounds like an extract out of a play when one character – perhaps a woman – has told another character – perhaps a man – to send her a leaf from a bush at least ½ an hour away, then he/she must go and be strong, while he/she thanks him/her for the pretty leaf. The leaf represents a present of some sort. The woman is asking the man to give her a present that he makes an effort to get, then he will feel satisfaction and leave, and the woman will thank him, knowing that he tried. The message for this poem is “Make an effort and you will be rewarded”. I know that this is true because I have experienced something like this “present” situation. I had a test that I had stayed up to very late trying to study for it. I studied for this test almost two weeks before the test date. I was determined to do this test right and to fully comprehend it. I completed the test and I received a 100%. I felt very satisfied with myself and happy that my hard work had paid off. As the “Food For Thought” chart...
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