Discuss the Theme of Love and Longing in the Poems You Have Studied.

Topics: W. H. Auden, Poetry, Love Pages: 8 (2799 words) Published: March 19, 2011
Discuss the theme of love and longing in the poems you have studied. ………………………………………………………………………………………….. Poetry enables a writer to express his or her feelings. Like painting or music it is an art, an art that supplies the reader with an insight to the poet’s mind. Poetry is a response and an evaluation of the author’s world and life. A poem can represent sorrow, joy, love, anger, despair, or it can simply be a reflection of an event or memory. Poems frequently have hidden meanings, but many are simple and clear. They demonstrate in a unique way how it feels, for example, to be in love, to watch a sunset, or to stand by someone’s deathbed. The poems I have chosen to study are Bronte’s “Remembrance”, Matthew Arnold’s “Longing” and W.H. Auden’s “Funeral Blues.” All three poets express their feelings of losing a loved one. They describe their experience and the desire to have them back. The pre nineteenth century poems give me the impression of a craving to be with their departed partner. However Bronte’s poem suggests that she wants to die to be with her loved one, whereas Arnold’s poem shows that he wants to be with his beloved in dreams. They are both enchanting poems because of the figurative language used. Auden’s poem, written in the twentieth century, is representative of a more realistic approach to the experiences than the poet’s who write pre nineteenth century. It demonstrates despair but without the idealistic depiction of a desire to be reunited with the lover.

“Remembrance” by Emily Bronte was written in the 1820’s. She was born in 1918, in the small village of Haworth on the wild and bleak Yorkshire moors, she died in 1948. Although her life was relatively short she is an unforgettable author and poet.

The very title “Remembrance” portrays reflection and nostalgia. It sets the tone- lonely and sorrowful. We acknowledge that it is about recalling good and bad times and also that it is about keeping something alive- just from the title. It is noticeable instantly that she is weary without him and misses him desperately “Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee.” Here she addresses him directly. This establishes a personal connection with him. The capital letter symbolises the great importance of her lover to her.

The poem is long and each stanza has four lines. What stands out about the structure of this poem is stanza three. This stanza has two lines then a space then the last two lines. In this stanza like in the opening stanza she repents the words “Cold in the earth.” Also she speaks of winter again. I understand the frequent references of winter to be a reflection of depression. They also demonstrate the cold, unwelcoming age of death. Although they signify death and sadness, they are filled with passion, and description, “fifteen wild Decembers” “the deep snow piled above thee.”

When the speaker comments on her lover it is always with the utmost respect and admiration “thy noble heart.” This description elevates him. She is always warm and consideration on his behalf “my only Love” also “Sweet Love of youth.” Again I recognise the use of a capital letter to demonstrate her passion for him. This description (“Sweet Love of youth”) is tender and innocent, as is the rest of the verse. She speaks softly, kindly and with sentimentality. She says that she will always love him and nothing will ever remove her memory of him.

Bronte is joyless without him, “All my life’s bliss is n the grave with thee.” No one else could take his place because he was her happiness and he was her light. She lives in darkness now, “No later light has lightened up my heaven.” She has not moved on.

The punctuation used by Bronte is also significant each stanza has a noteworthy exclamation mark or question mark. She continuously asks questions, however they are rhetorical questions. She does not want an answer she just wants to ask. This is curious; it shows how confused and desperate she is. It is most significant in...
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