The Theme Of Love And Loss In Poetry

3243 words - 13 pages

The Theme of Love and Loss in Poetry

"How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and
physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?" Albert
Einstein. The subject of love has always inspired poets, writers, and
those lucky in love as well. Love is everything its cracked up to be.
It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the
trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more. Some of
the poets who are so inspired by love are John Clare, Christina
Rossetti, Elizabeth Browning and Edith Nesbit who wrote classic love
poems.

John Clare was an English farmer turned poet of the natural world who
wrote many poems, essays and letters on love, politics, sex,
corruption, etc. Christina Rossetti was also an English poet who wrote
many melancholic poems with symbolic religious themes. Elizabeth
Browning was a famous poet of Victorian England best known for her
romance with Robert Browning and her "Sonnets From The Portuguese"
which is widely read. Edith Nesbit was an English novelist, poet and
writer of stories for children though her novels and poems never
gained much recognition as much as her stories for children.

"First Love" by John Clare is a romantic poem about love at first
sight. This poem is linked to love and loss, and has got all the sweet
memories of falling in love for the first time and all the pain for
losing it at the same time.

"How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Browning is about a woman analyzing
how she loves her husband immeasurably. This was her last poem
probably written for her husband. "A Birthday" by Christina Rossetti
is a blissful poem about nature filled with fecundity, and packed with
nature imagery. "Remember" is also by Christina Rossetti, but is
completely reverse of "A Birthday". "Remember" is filled with a lot of
pain, and the poet is obsessed with death and death hangs throughout
the whole poem. "Villegiature" by Edith Nesbit is a poem about a
conflict between expectation and reality. It shows us romantic notions
of what lovers ought to be.

"How do I Love Thee?" and "Remember" are both sonnets relating to love
and how it is combined with death. Though in the way in which the
poets approach the subject is quite different. "Remember" is a
completely death obsessed poem and shows the passionate love Rossetti
has for her lover. "How Do I Love Thee?" though is still much more
less disturbing than "Remember". The poem starts like a mathematical
problem, "let me count the ways", measuring the different ways, "the
breadth and the height" of how she loves him. In "Remember" there is
more of a poignant note, "Remember me when I'm gone away." The whole
poem echoes with "Remember me" and shows the different ways how she is
so obsessed with death like, "Remember me when I'm gone far away into
...

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