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A Comparison Between Two Poems

By finn1005 May 24, 2013 914 Words
The first of the two poems I have chosen to compare and contrast is Morning Song By Silvia Path, this poem seems focused on the experience of child birth and the powerful emotions that follow, and is by no means however a generalized and optimistic account of child birth. The second poem I have chosen to focus on is There Be None Of Beauty's Daughters by Lord Byron and seemingly depicts a strong sense of love and bondage between the Byron and the person he is writing about, however it is unclear who exactly Byron is writing about because of the ambiguity surrounding his sexuality. Both poems both do focus on a sense of love and human relationships, Path’s focuses on a maternal love and Byron’s on a couple’s love, the sense and presence, however, of love within each poem differs greatly. Although maternal love is a strong theme within Path’s poem it is not clearly present in the relationship between mother and daughter, if anything the poem focuses on the unexpected lack of love and subsequent emotions that have filled the void left over from this missing sense of love. Byron’s poem focuses on a definite existing love, more importantly a love that does consist of innate affection (like the wavering affection found in Plath’s poem) but affection that has been found. Plath’s poem is structured in a way that resembles the emotional ambiguity she feels towards her daughter, it has been written “free verse” and as such does not pick up a particular rhythm, the only noticeable fixed element is that each stanza contains just three lines. The never truly fixed structure of the poem, in general reflects the distance felt between the mother and daughter in that a particular bond rhythmically is never found between the lines of the poem. This reflects the emotional ambiguity felt towards her daughter, in that just like the lacking identity of the rhyme scheme the emotions felt towards the daughter have a lack of maternal identity. In contrast Byron’s poem has a noticeable rhyme scheme and rhyming patterns which seem to make the pace of the poem much more fluent than that off Silvia Plath’s poem. This complements the sense of love in Byron’s poem making it seem natural, fitting and unforced. In contrast the detached, ambiguous and lost sense of love in Plath’s poem is complemented by the lacking rhyme scheme as the poem’s pace seems unsure of itself just like the sense of love seen in Plath’s poem. Furthermore Byron’s poem is in a single stanza and this echoes the closeness of the lovers as if they are one body when together. Differing from Byron’s, Plath’s poem is spread out along six stanzas echoing the disjointed and ambiguous sense of love between the mother and newborn daughter. The free verse form also reflects the unconventional love seen in Plath’s poem. The language seen in Plath’s poem is both similar and different to that of Byron’s poem. Both poems have large amounts of figurative language to describe such powerful emotions and differing perspectives on love. The close-knitted love seen in Byron’s poem could be perceived as fated in that his use of romanticized, naturalistic imagery paints the idea that the love may be fated and uncontrollable. The last three lines of Byron’s poem, “listen and adore thee; with a full but soft emotion, like the swell of the summers ocean”. The simile “full but soft emotion, like the swell of the summers ocean” compares the sense of emotion found in love to the “the swell of the summers ocean” perhaps inferring the force of love is uncontrollable much like that of the swelling “summers ocean”. Further themes of fated love can be seen through constant comparison to natural forces like the “midnight moon” and “lull’d winds”, perhaps promoting his idea of love as being a process as changeable as the natural elements that surround us. Ironically in comparison the love between the mother and daughter should be an innate process, that tends emerge out of a strong bond of affection and in a way could be seen as a naturalistic process like the love seen in Byron’s. However, within Plath’s poem any genuine love is omitted, and in dissimilarity to Byron’s poem the naturalistic process of love is broken, ironically birth is arguably the emobidment of a naturalistic processes. Plath and Byron both use figurative language, however Plath focuses her use of language on her surroundings and we see her disjointed feelings reflected through this. “Love set you going like a fat gold watch” is the opening line of the poem, Plath referring to the daughter as a product of love; this could be similar to Byron’s idea of fated love except the fated love here is unwanted or alien to the mother. A“fat gold watch” denotes the idea of time passing by, the “gold” being no substitute for time passing by, if the “fat gold watch” was metaphorical for the daughter then the mother would be feeling a sense of despair at her daughter, as whilst her daughter may be “gold” she will always be a reminder of the passing time. Thematically, time with Plath’s poem and the sense of fated love within Byron’s poem are both similar in that neither process can be controlled. However the perspectives on these uncontrollable forces differ in each poem, suggesting that “Love” is not a singular emotion and is difficult to grasp and control.

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