Stories of Ourselves

Topics: Poetry, Edna St. Vincent Millay, John Keats Pages: 6 (2243 words) Published: November 12, 2012
First Love
The poem ‘First Love’ is about experiencing young love for the very first time. Firstly, Clare uses many forms of figurative language such as metaphors, personifications and hyperboles to show the negative impacts of love throughout the poem. Phrases such as his “face turned pale a deadly pale” and “stole my heart away” show this. Love shocked him as if he was a dead ghost and as if life was taken away from him. At the beginning, he mentions, ‘I ne’er was struck before that hour’, telling us that he was hit by cupid’s arrow or suddenly struck in the face when he saw her. The poet is very descriptive, and uses alliteration to give the sentence a soft sound of love, for example: ‘With love so sudden and so sweet’. In the first stanza, he’s describing his lonely existence before he got struck by the love of his life and also in the first stanza he shows an internal monologue, it is as if he is writing down the thoughts that his mind was telling him when he saw her. In the second stanza he starts to describe with more intensity, saying ‘Words from my eyes did start, they spoke as cords do from strings’ He was having an immediate connection, speaking to her through his eyes. In the third stanza the poet talks about a sudden touch of sadness. He writes, ‘Are flowers the winters choice, Is love’s bed as always snow…’ this tells us that the love of his life is giving him the cold shoulder, and that he is in his own winter of love, meaning cold and darkness. At the one of the third stanza he mentions that she took is heart, and can return it no more. Clare conveys his message through all the metaphors used, and the words that describe a certain stage of the poet’s feelings. At the beginning of the stanza, Clare starts by writing down the thought he heard while he saw her. In the second stanza, he describes his feeling and what he felt, he explains that ‘Blood burnt round my heart’ when he saw her, giving a sense of strong passion and his heart beating rapidly. As he gets to the last stanza, Clare mentions his loneliness, and how the girl she loves stole his heart.

In the poem ¨Marry Song¨ by Dennis Scott, the writer makes the reader feel the hurt and anger of the first mood and the happiness of the second by showing the change of emotion, we can see this in lines 3 to 6. Scott is lost inside her anger, which is ‘walled’ so it seems as though she was hiding her ‘hurt’, as it is ‘quarried’, suggesting it is dark and dangerous. Dennis Scott shows how her emotions change often when he writes ‘on turning’. Her second emotion seems nasty as her laugh is referred to as ‘cool water’. The poet writes a further example if her changing emotions by commenting on her emotion the day before; she had ‘stones in her voice’ which could mean she is attacking him with her words or she is trying not to cry, with a clump in her throat. Lines 7 and 8 are made up of four very short sentences. The effect of this is to show his uncertainty and confusion. The last three lines show a new phase in the relationship. Ironically, instead of journeying, he now ‘stayed home’. This is a new twist in the extended metaphor. He stayed at home in a sense that he wasn’t going to explore anymore; he was going to take her emotions as they come. The effect of ‘wondered’ as a one word sentence is a decision to think about her and not to wander around her personality. In lines 16 and 17, the rhyme of ‘find’ and ‘mind’, symbolizing how he is kindly interested in finding how to understand her ‘mind’, personality and ‘wilderness’. The rhyme in lines 11 and 12, ‘new’ and ‘grew’, show how growing creates a new thing and you never know what it will be; her emotions seem to be compared to metamorphosis.

Well go no more a-roving
This short and succinct poem makes effective use of auditory features. It begins with long and slow ‘O’ sounds, “We’ll go no more a-roving,” and implies the poet’s weary and exasperated consciousness. A “moaning” effect is...
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