Compare The Treatment Of The Subject Between "Bavarian Gentians" And "Ship Of Death".

1521 words - 6 pages

David Herbert Lawrence, an English novelist and poet ranked among the most influential and controversial literary figures of the twentieth century. Lawrence was born on September 11th, 1885, in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. He abandoned traditional poetic form and advocated the use of free verse.The two poems being discussed, "Bavarian Gentians" and "Ship of Death" were both written near the time of Lawrence's death. He had been suffering from tuberculosis. He is well aware that he is going to die soon, and emphasizes the transition of time. However, the tone is different in both poems. "Bavarian Gentians" was written before "Ship of Death" and it is seen that the emotions are more controlled in the former. In the latter, he is not sure of what is in store for him and there is great intensity of emotions resulting in some sections of the poem to get hysterical. Both poems deal with the emotions felt during the journey to death and life thereafter.In "Bavarian Gentians" the structure is far more neat, compact and economical. On the other hand, in "Ship of Death" the structure is sprawling. It seems to be a conglomeration of Lawrence's thoughts put together as the come to his mind. "Ship of Death" appears to be a long-winded poem and lacks the unity of "Bavarian Gentians". It is an incoherent poem. Though both poems deal with the same subject, the inspirations for both poems are entirely different. . "Bavarian Gentians" may have been inspired from the vase of showy blue flowers in Lawrence's house as he lay a sick and dying man. Lawrence was a nature poet and his excitement at describing these flowers has been implied. Perhaps the descriptions are only to recapture the kind of emotions the flower evokes in sensitive people. The image and inspiration for "Ship of Death" is derived from Etruscan Places, where Lawrence describes how he saw "the ship of death that should bear him to the other world"In "Bavarian Gentians", Lawrence makes use of several devices such as repetition. The constant use of the word ' darkness' signifies gloom and fear of the unknown. The repetition adds to the incantatory effect of the poem. However, there are instances where he uses the word 'darkness' with the colour 'blue' which signifies hope, hence we have a oxymoron by fusing together two different ideas if hope and gloom. In the poem we are exposed to Lawrence's perplexed frame of mind wavering between obscurity and hope. Lawrence makes use of free verse and uses antithesis and alliteration in the poem in addition to the other devices employed. The poem is allegorical and could be termed as either a death poem or flower poem. He emphasizes that death is not evil but merely a way of life, which one must accept.Like "Bavarian Gentians," " Ship of Death" is a construction by way of the artistic imagination of the attitude one must take toward death--that is, toward dying, the active, existential process of dying. And here Lawrence is equal to the challenge. "The Ship of...

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