love and relationships

  • Created by: kira mx
  • Created on: 21-03-18 20:15


The poem begins with pathetic fallacy of a stormy setting, to foreshadow later events. The "SULLEN" wind is personified and appears spiteful and mischievious, doing "ITS WORST TO VEX THE LAKE"

Despite the violence of the storm, the rural setting is also a Victoria romantic ideal, beautiful and simply which lulls the reader into a false sense of security.

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The peom explores obsessive love. There is a sense of disquiet from the start of the poem with the narrator describing his "HEART" as being "FIT" to unsaid throughout the poem. Browning's narrator doesnt explicity voice his feelings and motivation, instead leaves the ausdience to pivk up clues. Its clear that this is not healthy, reciprocal love as he observes her coldly, refuses to answer her and feels morally right for commiting murder. 

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The poem is written in a single stanza, typical of a dramatic monologue. Its highly strucutured in terms of rhymr and rhythm. This is intended to mirror the highly logical, structured, calm, reasonded mind of the narrator, making the climax even more shocking. The characters are also mirroed in the poem, as the beginning sees and active Porphyria tending to her lover whilst he is silent and still and ends in reverse, with the roles swapped.

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The poem is full of spoken and unspoken horror. The harmonious, lyrical structured of the poem juxtaposes with the sinister events. The use of anasrtophe delicalty and slowly reveals the shoking murder. The end tableau, rather than a romantic scene, is an image of a cold murdere. Typical of the Victorian Era, the woman is voiceless.The love and rrelationship is shown through the eyes of the male. The reader is only able to see her perspective through the eyes of the unreliable male narrator. Likewise the cations of the narrator after the murder makes his delusins clear. 

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Natural imagery is used to convey human emotioon. The references to the natural world are violent and powerful. The opening scene foreshadows the dark tense atmosphere ahead. The strom tears down trees for fum/spite showing its power and control. The man also describes the woma b like a "BEE", angry a lookig for revenge.

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The poem is structured in the form of Petrarchan sonnet, often usd as a poetic form for love poetry. However, this highly controlled form is manipulated to demonstrate the poet excitment and impatience. Whereas the volta usually appears between the octave and sestet, Barret Browning introduces the turn earlier in line 7. This emphasises the inability to control her tthought and desire to be with her love

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The poem uses a extended metaphor of nature. Nature is a common symbol in love poetry, often used tto explore feeling. In Victorian times, it was used to allow the poet to express feeligns that she would not have been able to if she had been more litral and less metaphorical. The image also expresses and interesting power imbalnace between the poet and her love. The vines are smothering him

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The poem demonstrates an inability to control emotion. The form highlights th eoverwhelming feeling the poet has. In addition, the language is bursting with excitment and intensity, the plosive sounds show that there is nothing calm about her love. There is also an urgency which is created by the emjambent as thoughts flood her mind.

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The poem is written in 6 regular, controlled quatrains. It has ABAB rhyme and half rhyme. The controlled strcure represents an old memory that has long been reflected upon. It also reprents the ordered rhythm of ploughing, very structured, with enjambment to mirror the turn in the field, shown in stanza 2--3

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Love is shown through the description of the father at work. The admirationn of the son, observing his father is shown through the simile used to describe him



The presion of the detail highlights his father's skill and expertise "fit, set without breaking, pluk" The admiration Heaney has for his father is juxtaposed with his own sense of inadequency.

"I STUMBLED, ALL I EVER DID WAS FOLLOW"  and desire to follow his footsteps, and be the man his fatheer is

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The poem refers to some of the complexities of chnaging family relationships. The father is loving and affectionate, his son follows him everywhere, there is no hint that his father lost patience with the young Heaney. As he becomess an adult, Heaney views himself as "A NUISANCE". There is possibly guilt and shame that this is how he now views his father, a man who he once was so devoted to. It is a glimpse of the confict Heaney feels over the changing roless and relationship in family life.

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The poem is based on a sonnet form, tradionally used for love poetry. Mother, Any distance has 15 lines, ends with a rhyming couplet. It roughly has an octave and a sestet. The turn (volta) comes in line 9 when the son begins to experience less fear and more excitemnt and need for rhyme into disjoined, irregular rhyme and irregular line length. The instability, irregularity of the rhyme and metre symbolises the evolving nature of the relationship, that thye are chnaging and renegotiating their roles.

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The poem uses a number of metaphors relating to flight to explore the chnaging relationship between the mother and son. Spcae waling and bcak to base convey the excitment and adventure of the son leaving. Kite also has associations with fun and play. Finally the son reaching for the hatch (also a pun for birds hatching) preparing to fly suggets a bird leaving the nest (home) to become truly independent.

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Despite the seemingly reserved nature of the poem, the poet clearly has deep feelings of love for his Mother. Choosin g the sonnet form, used typically for love poetry, makes a clear stament. Although he doesnt use the word love, or any terms of affection for his mother, the poem shows his literal and emotional attachment through the imagery and metaphors


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The poem is an extended metaphor, comparing the grandfather to a mountain, that the grandson climbs. Its told from the viewpoint of the grandson as if he is still a young boy. It has a positive and loving tone.

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The poem is written in a single stanza. This is significant as it visually suggests a mountain, with overhanging ledges and ridges. It also represnts the length and hieght of the climb. The grandfather has lived a long life to be firm, stable and reolute man that he is. The lines are a mix of both enjambment and caesura to suggest the free flowing movemnet of the climbment, and the perpertual flow of life.

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The grandson has a deep admiration for his grandfather. The central metaphor of the grandfather being like a mountain suggests the grandson feels awe and wonder. The particulars of tbe grandfathers life voiced through the physical marks and details, are not questioned by the grandson, but accepted as part of his form. The patience of the grandfather, allowing the boy to climb and explore, shows reciprocal love and tenderness. There is a silent, wisdom about the grandfathers that knows the young boy must undertake lifes adventures on his own, but he will always be a dependable and unshakeable "rock" for support.

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The poet's use of a semantic field of climbing and outdoor world romanticises the grandfather. The frequent use of specific terms associate with climbing evokes images of advneture. To thee young boy the llife ahead is an adventure, made even more poignant considering the fate of the poet. His grandfather is a giant or hero, which the boy wants to explore, shown in his excitemnt as he embarks on his asvcent. In addition there is an honour associated with the "earth stained hands" the scars and marks acquired over the years.

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Eden Rock is  a description of a picnic the poet has with parents. On a literal level, it could be simply nostalgic. But it has more symbolic meaning the poet imagining is parents in a timeless afterlife calling to him to join them. Its told from the viewpoint of the poet in first person and haas a reflective and peacful tone.

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Sturctured in  4 regular quadrains with 5th split, final stanza. It has a regular meter and uses half rhyme. This creates an underlying sense of discord, an eerie sense of disharmony that the idyllic scene is not quite right. It should be melodic and harmonious, but the half rhyme prevents this. The plit 5th stanza creates a physical gap for the reader to cross in order to reach the final line.

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The poem uses a number of religious motifs or symbols to suggesr the peace and tranquility of the afterlife

3 sun, Eden,Crossing the river

There is a sense of reconciliation with death and becoming at peace with the idea of it. Notice death isnt mentioned at all in the poem so the euphemism of crossing and the whole poem could be considred as an extended metaphor for death

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