English Lit 6 Poem Essay

Words: 3355
Pages: 14

‘Compare the treatment of love in some of the poems you have studied ’

Poem at Thirty-nine,
My last Duchess,
Anne Hathaway,
On my first Sonne.

Poets have written love poems for centuries with the first said to be around 1000BC. But what is love? It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘ to have attachment to and affection for’. However, after studying various love poems, I have found that love is portrayed in many different ways. It can be possessive, hateful and pure and the fact that William Shakespeare said ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ suggests that love is more complicated than a simple dictionary definition.

‘Remember’ is in the form of an Italian sonnet in which Christina
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Walker says ‘ he would have grown to admire the woman I’ve become’.Walker uses a very striking,visual and comical simile to describe jow her father was unique and nobody could replicate him: ‘ he cooked like a person dancing in a yoga meditation’ she blends food, dance and spirituality to evoke his complexity and suggest his joy and passion when he cooks. the father used to beat her, but she didn’t judge him because she was thankful for him teaching her morals and how he would have ‘grown to admire the woman I’ve become.’

- I wish he had not been so tired…

- He cooked like a person dancing in a yoga meditation – striking visual simile/ comical (which shows her fondness) – he was unique – blends food, dance and spirituality – evokes his complexity

The celebratory tone presented in ‘Poem at Thirty-nine’ is similar to that in ‘Anne Hathaway’ where Duffy takes the persona of Shakespeare’s wife. Shakespeare’s will has caused controversy because his gift to his wife (‘second best bed’) was thought to be an insult. However, throughout the poem, Duffy explains why this gift was special. The form of the poem is a sonnet because Shakespeare wrote many sonnets about love and this emphasises the link between them. However, it is interesting that Duffy only uses iambic pentameter sporadically and does hardly includes rhyme. I think Duffy chooses not to follow Shakespeare’s regular rhyme scheme to perhaps suggest