A Comparison of Love Poetry
Works Cited Not Included
Love is one of the most popular poetic themes. It is an intensely
personal theme and can be approached in a great variety of ways. It is
a theme affected by times. Many people believe that the true
definition of love is found in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 quotes,
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not
easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in
evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres." Although many people believe this is
the true definition of love it is not that relevant to me as I am
dealing exclusively with romantic love in these poems. In three poems
I have studied the theme of love has been approached in various ways
with the poets taking different attitudes to the relationships
described in each poem. The three poems are, The Thickness Of Ice by
Liz Loxley, How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and
First Love by John Clare.
The Thickness of Ice by Liz Loxley is a modern day poem on love
between two people written between 1980 and 1990. It uses an extended
metaphor to portray the feelings of the two people it is describing.
The metaphor is ice-skating and how they are testing the thickness of
the ice and wondering when it is going to break, "we'll skate nearer
the centre of the lake." The poem describes how there is "ice" between
the two people, eventually it breaks and then ice is formed again. The
'ice' is referring to the feelings and the atmosphere between the two
people involved. There is awkwardness and tense feelings between them
at the start as the 'ice' has not been broken. Eventually the 'ice' is
broken and they are comfortable being in each other's company.
Throughout the poem the two people experience different feelings. At
the start there is lack of trust and they stay to the edges of the
lake. Trust grows each time they meet, so that they are "less anxious
to impress." As each meeting continues they become "less eager than
the skater going for gold," meaning, less eager to do it at the best
of their ability. The "triple jumps and spinsâ€¦become old routine." The
two of them ignore the danger and don't see that the ice won't hold
their weight as they skate nearer to the centre of the lake.
Eventually the "ice" breaks between them but they scramble to save
themselves. The awkward feelings between them have been 'broken.' They
only think of themselves and not each other. There is "hurt by missing
out on a medal." They haven't done well enough to deserve a medal.
Throughout the poem the poet has used brackets. In the brackets it
shows her secret hopes, tells us of her real feelings and tells us
what is going...