"Poetry Allows Poets To Give Form To Experiences And Feelings Which Are Difficult To Put Into Words" Do You Agree With This View?

1235 words - 5 pages

All poems in this anthology deal with expression. However, John Clare's 'I am' and Christina Rossetti's 'Remember' are two of the best examples of expression and how it fits into poetical form. John Clare's 'I am' is an example of romantic poetry that deals with death and loneliness. It was written while John Clare was in a mental asylum, and it deals with his feelings and experiences there. The first line introduces us to his mental state 'I am: yet what I am none cares or knows'. This line is a personal statement of his existence, no one seems to care for him and he is completely alone with no one to help, 'I am the self consumer of my woes'. He has to try and convince himself that he is alive and he manages to do this through his religious beliefs. He believes that, although he is insane, god will save him 'there to abide with my creator, God'. The poem continues in this religious vein, efflorescing into his deep, romantic, views of childhood. He believes, as Rousseau had led the romantics to believe, that Heaven was like a child's innocence.The structure and form of John Clare's poetry is an important way that John Clare concentres his emotions for the reader. The structure, although not formal, has a strict rhyme scheme and meter. The three stanzas each have different endings; the first stanza ends with an enjambment which increases rhythm and pace. This ending fits perfectly with the rest of the first stanza, which is very fast with several dashes used to speed up the words. This shows us the chaotic ideas that John Clare has to try and explain in the poem. In most poetry the first stanza is usually the predicament and the rest of the poem is there to try and make sense of it, which certainly explains why he has split the stanzas up in such a way. The beginning of the second stanza is predominantly explaining his personal emotive state, and he uses several nautical metaphors to assist, '...vast shipwreck of my life's esteems', 'into the... sea of waking dreams'. The last two lines are indicative of normality, as if the past four lines were his mind being side tracked, like stream of consciousness. The last two lines are directly contrasting with the enjambment and the speed of the first stanza. The last stanza describes his vision of the after-life and of religion, and his final ideas seem to, at least in his mind, elucidate his life. The language becomes biblical, 'where man hath never trod', 'to abide', and he begins to go from being uncertain of existence to being certain of it.Christina Rossetti's 'Remember' is a more formal expression of feeling, it is an elegy written about her lover. This poem is often read out at funerals, and this is significant because obviously people feel that Christina Rossetti has encapsulated the feeling and experiences of death into a generic and succinct piece of writing. "When you can no more hold me by the hand..." Here she is telling her lover to try and let go of her and the memories that he holds of...

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