Poetry Analysis Of Blake's London And Eliot's The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock.

1374 words - 5 pages

Poetry Essay Teacher - Ms. Taylor
We don't read and write poetry because it's 'cute'. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion*. (Dead Poets' Society)* passion: strong feeling about a topic or ideasSelect ONE poem from EACH of the poets you have studied this year, and explore the nature and concerns of each poet's work in the light of the above quotation.Poets don't write poems because they are 'cute'. They write poems to offer an insight into the nature and concerns of the societies in which they lived. Blake's Holy Thursday from Songs of Experience (1794) and Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock are two poems that explore this. In Holy Thursday (1794), Blake examines the effects of an early-1790s society that disregards a warning about looking after one another. Blake portrays a society that is struggling to survive in a changing world because of the exploitation of the upper and middle classes. Blake also emphasises the contrast between the rich and the poor. Similarly, in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot describes a society that is struggling to survive in a changing world and the effects of neglect and industrialisation on the society. The struggle for identity and a place in the world are highlighted in the poem. Language devices such as rhetorical questions and intertextuality are used to express similar nature and concerns in Holy Thursday (1794) and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.In Holy Thursday (1794), Blake investigates the effects of an early-1790s society that disregards a warning about looking after the poor. Blake pictures his society as one that is struggling to survive because of the economic gain overshadowing humanity and integrity. A description of a society desperate to succeed through neglect is built through Blake's clever use of metonymy of the whole society "hand". His use of juxtaposition of feeding little and begging simultaneously creates an image of a deceitful society. A rhetorical question "and so many children poor?" makes the readers questionabout the society's realisation of his mistake and neglect of others but its continuous irresponsibility because of its desire for industrial wealth and progress. The society sacrifices its care for children who instead, work in the blue-collar industries. This is reinforced by juxtaposing "It is a land of poverty!" to "a rich and fruitful land".Blake's dominant use of rhetorical questions "Is this a holy thing to see", "Is that trembling cry a song?" and "Can it be a song of joy?" demonstrates the effects of neglect on society, especially the poor people. An image of an irreligious, exploitive and pessimistic society is created. Blakealso uses emotive, yet menacing imagery "Babes reducd to misery. Fed with cold and usurous hand?" to represent the large gap between the rich and the poor. The poor people are being deceived and overcharged. Blake uses metaphors "the sun does never shine"...

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