Poetry Appreciation

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cPoetry Appreciation

In this essay I am going to compare and contrast ‘When we two parted’ a poem of George Gordon, Lord Byron’s written in 1815 and Letitia Elizabeth Landon’s ‘Love’s last lesson’ written in c1838, both poets are British and of the romantic period. ‘When we two parted’ is an elegy of the loss of love, Byron is reflecting and analyzing a relationship that has already ended. His grief, anger and despair, intensifies his use of first person, which maintains a strong impact on the audience throughout. The poem is powerful, personal and unreserved, the emotion and passion is definitely felt through his writing. Byron’s message is ambiguous; so the reader is able to make their own assumption this is the beauty of the poem, it is subject to individual interpretation, making it inclusive and relatable to many different situations. The structure of the poem is separated into four stanzas each one being an octet. Punctuation suggests that every two lines can be read as one, the metre of the poem is iambic pentameter, each line having 5 iambs and 10 syllables when two lines are read as one. The rhyming pattern in stanza one, two and four is ababcdcd but stanza three is ababacac. The poem mainly has a regular rhyming scheme but the ‘flow’ is disrupted in stanzas one and four lines five and six, I am not sure if this was intentional. I believe the poem can be interpreted in many different ways; the overall impression is the separation of two lovers, throughout the poem there are numerous references suggesting bereavement, loss and infidelity. In the first Stanza the metaphor ‘Pale grew thy cheek and cold, colder thy kiss;’ uses pale and cold in contrast with the rosy warm imagery of life, this could very well be an indication of death but could simply be an exaggeration of how he felt after the break up. On Line four the statement ‘To sever for years’ is ambiguous as it suggests a lengthy separation but can also mean cut in two therefore could be related...
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