English Literature Poetry- Pre 1914


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On My First Sonne By Ben Jonson

Sit: Jonson's seven year old son died and he believes that his sin was that he love him too much.

Lang: "Farewell" saying good bye to his died son. "My sinne was too much hope thee, lov'd boy" emphasises he feels that his sin was too much love and hope for his child. "seven yeeres tho'wert lent to me" shows he believes god leant his son to him. "the state he should envie?" this shows he feels he should envy his son as he has escaped all hurt and misery. "Ben.Jonson his best piece of poetrie" he feels his son was the best thing he ever created. "he loves may never like too much" Jonson says he will never love another child as much as he loved his son in fear of losing them.

Struct: 12 lines 1 stanza regular rhyme.

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The Song of the Old Mother by William Butler Yeats

Sit: An old mother that works and works for her children when they do nothing.

Lang: Repetition- "and" emphasises that the mother feels her life is repeative and boring. Metaphor- "the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold" this represents her life that is getting old and she is become weak and feeble. "I must work because I am old" she feels she has to work because she is old and they are young so she has to take care of them. Contrast- "i rise in the dawn" + "the young lie long and dream" this shows she has to get up early and work all day while the children get to have a lie in and rest all day.

Struct: 1 stanza 10 lines regular rhyme. Plodding rhythm that emphasises that her life is boring as she does the same thing all the time.


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The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy

Sit: A soldier who doesnt see the point of war but has to kill the man in front of him that he thinks if they met somewhere else they manyt have got along.

Lang: "Had he and I but met" this shows that he feels that if they met somewhere else he may have got along with him . "staring face to face" the men are staring however they dont really see the need to kill each other. Repetition- "my foe" this shows his uncertianty of the need to kill him. " that's clear enough: although" this emphasises the point that he doesnt understand why he has to kill the man he may have been able to get along with. "No other reason why" money is the only reason that he killed this man. Word play- "fellow" fellow as in man or fellow as in brother shows that the could have been friends and maybe become to feel like they were brothers.

Struct: 5 stanzas 4 lines each regular rhyme.

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Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare

Sit: Shakespeares mistress is not attractive but he loves her anyway.

Lang: Simile- "eyes nothing like the sun" shows that shes not pretty and her eyes to shine shes just ordinary. Metaphor- "black wires grow on her head" her hair is wirey and ugly. "when she walks treads on the ground" this shows she is ordinary as in other poems she would be like a goddess and she would float this shows she isn't anything special. "I think my love is rare" Shakespeare thinks his love is rare as he is in love with this unattractive woman and he loves her so much.

Struct:  Sonnet= 14 lines regular rhyme. 12 lines describe and two sum up. Last two lines are a rhyming couplet. Turns on it's head as he sums up describing his love.

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My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

Sit: The duke's late duchess used to blush and get excited around other men and he is jelous.

Lang: "thats my last duchess" this makes him sound possessive from the start. "the curtian i have drawn for you" this shows that now she is dead and he only has the painting left he gets to control who gets to look at his late duchess. Repetition- "spot of joy" this shows that he is jealous about the fact that she blushed and got excited around other men. "dies along her throat" this makes he death look suspicous. "I gave the commands; Then all the smiles stopped together" this gives the idea that he killed her.

Struct: One stanza made up of rhyming couplets. regular rhythm Dramatic monologue.

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The laboratory by Robert Browning

Sit: Lover has run off with another woman and they know she knows. She goes to the lab to get poison made to kill her.

Lang: "Empty church, to pray God in, for them!-I am here." this shows how they expect her to go to the place of god but she has gone to the place of the devil. Alliteration- "laugh, laugh at me"- shows her anger towards the idea of them laughing at her. " And her breasts and arms and her hands, should drop dead!" this is used to show that the parts of the body her lover is physically attracted to will drop dead. Dramatic irony- "she's not lille, no minion like me!" she feels she is small and a servent to her lover and she would do anything for them however we know she isn't small and weak. Alliteration- "Brand, burn up, bite" emphasises violence. Bite is important and it is a close violence. "He is sure to remember her dying face" she wants her to remember her dying.

Struct: 12 stanzas regular rhyme. dramatic monologue.

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