The Presentation Of Love In Poetry

2686 words - 11 pages

The Presentation of Love in Poetry

Compare in detail the presentation of love (and loss) in How Do I Love
Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, First Love by John Clare and
Remember by Christina Rossetti with further reference to My Last
Duchess by Robert Browning, When We Two Parted by Lord Byron and A
Woman To Her Lover by Christina Walsh

The three poems, First Love by John Clare, Remember by Christina
Rossetti and How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning were all
written in the 19th century. They all share the similar theme of love,
however they are all very different in numerous ways, such as in their
structure, their tone, their ideas of love, the time of their
relationship and their descriptions about their lovers. Throughout
life, many people fall instantly in love when they see someone for the
first time. First Love focuses on the impact this can have on a person
and the feelings they receive from experiencing such a wonderful
moment. Alternatively, Remember not only reflects upon the importance
and struggles of grieving after a lover has passed away, but also how
the lover wishes them to continue in life without them. On the other
hand, the ideas of love reaching its peak and a love being so deep
that nothing can break the bond both lovers share is expressed in the
poem, How Do I Love Thee.

First Love explores the complexities of love at first sight. Unlike
both the other poems, it is separated into three stanzas, in which the
poem shows gradual, yet perceptible progression. The trochaic rhythm
used by John Clare represents the heartbeat he felt when he first
gazed upon his love. The rhyme scheme ABAB reflects upon the
separation of the two lovers, similar to When We Two Parted by Lord
Byron. Although he is gazing lovingly upon her, the poem does not
suggest she is looking back at him, so, physically there is immense
separation between the two, but his love being so deep suggests they
are closer than they will ever be. Its tone is very natural and also
vaguely spiritual; it seems as if this one moment in time is the most
significant out of every second in his life and the feelings he
describes are those of awe and wonder, usually experienced after a

Remember fixates on the parting of a lover. Remember is a petrarchan
sonnet as is How Do I Love Thee. The fact that it is of an Italian
origin explains the theme of love, but this poem is somewhat different
to the conventional love poem. It explains the issues of love after
death and the struggles of grieving. Its tone is almost negative; it
creates a slightly gloomy atmosphere. Whether it creates a sense of
depression or not, it still is a very emotional poem. Progression in
the poem is rapid; this is reflected by the sonnet. The octave
discusses a different topic to the sonnet, but there are some

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