Loves philosophy


"Love's Philosophy" is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poem is stating that nothing in this life is alone and that every object, even rivers and winds, have something, but why doesn't the narrator have his love? He goes on to state that everything is passionate towards one another in this life, but still, he doesn't receive a kiss from his love.


>"Love's Philosophy" consists of two stanzas made up of eight lines in each. They are rhymed as ABABCDCD.

>There doesn't seem to be a pattern of foot or meter, however, the rhythm stays throughout it due to the changing of feet. 

>The poet uses uses personification, rhetorical questions and repetition of the words 'and'  to add force to his persuasive argument.

> Five monosyllables in the last line of the first vers and 12 monosyllables in the final two lines of the second verse adds emphasis. 

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Porphyria's lover


Robert Browning (1812-1889) was a Victorian poet, who is particularly famous for his dramatic monologues in verse form. Browning was born in London, to a family who relished literature, and he grew up surrounded by books. He wrote his first book of poems before he was 12.

The poem is a narrative of a murder, told calmly and callously. On a stormy night the apparently depressed narrator is sitting alone in a cold and dark cottage. Out of the storm the girl he loves, Porphyria, arrives and makes up the fire. She sits beside him but he won’t speak. She tells him she loves him and rests her head on his shoulder, arranging his arm around her waist. He was "so pale/For love of her"and thought she didn’t love him.  

Form and structure 

>Porphyria's lover is a dramatic monologue written in the first person. 

>The regular rhyme scheme follows ABABB pattern throughout. It has also been suggested that the asymmetrical rhyme scheme reflects the unbalanced character of the narrator. Certainly the complete regularity of it reflects the narrator’s calmness in his violence.   

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Porphyria's lover

Language and imagery

The poem opens with a strong sense of pathetic fallacy: the personifies "sullen wind" tearing down the trees, and the rain battering down. 

When porphyria arrives she makes up the fire and warms the cottage, transforming the "Cheerless grate: , which seems as is it would reflect the love of the pair. He arrival "Shut the cold out" this seems true on literal and metaphorical level- it is the storm and his unhappiness that she shuts out.

Porphyria’s "yellow hair" is a recurring image in the poem, as she spreads it over the narrator’s shoulder as she sits next to him. In the first section of the poem her hair is mentioned three times in the space of eight lines, emphasising its importance to the poem’s narrator. It is hardly surprising when he uses it as "one long yellow string" to strangle her. It is a sensual image, particularly in contrast to her bare shoulder.

When she is alive, Porphyria is pale, with her "smooth white shoulder bare". Once he had killed her, her cheek "blushed bright" on her "smiling rosy little head". 

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Eden rock


Charles Causley was born in 1917. He was born and brought up in Cornwall. 

What is the poem about

The narrator imagines that his parents are both young again his mother is 23 and other is 25. They're both on the bank of a stream and his mother is preparing a picnic- It's an idyllic scence. The narrator is on the opposite bank to his parents, and they encourage him to cross the river to join them. 


The poet does not return to the stream with the thoughts and feelings of his childhood self: He is only with an adult perspective reflecting on the past. 

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Neutral tones


Thomas Hardy is best known as a novelist and this fame has long overshadowed his reputation as a poet. Most of his poems are “movingly mournful” as they were written soon after the death of his first wife. Written in 1867.


At the heart of the poem lies a failed relationship. The environment mirrors this death like situation. The sun lacks its characteristic golden warm and the ground is frosty and starving. The only colours that the poet describes are white and grey. The ash stands bare; its last grey leaves flutter down. The man and the woman have very little to speak; what they do utter, hastens the death of their love. The smile that hovers on the woman’s face is compared to that of an “ominous bird” that symbolises death and decay. The scene imprints itself with such force on the narrator’s mind that henceforth every time he thinks of the deceitful nature of love, his mind conjures this scene before his eyes.

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Neutral tones

Analysis: stanza 1 

>The first line uses mostly monosyllabic words making the lack of any movement. The man and the women are inhert; they merely stand by the pond. It is cold yet they are out in the open. 

>The second line sets forth this scene: the sun shines with a bleached white light, it lacks its golden glow. It looks as though it has been censured by god. The word 'chidden' is an old fashioned one for 'rebuke'. 

>The third lines adds more to the description of the depressing scene. The earth appears to be starving; it lacks life giving moisture and is frosty perhaps. A few leaves lie scattered on the hard soil. 

>The fourth line introduces an element of dark humour. The leaves are from an ash so they are grey coloured. They are also grey because they are dead leaves. 

Stanza 2

> The first line says the women gazed at the narrator. The enjambment at the end of the line that ends with word 'rove' makes us expect some unpleasant fact in the next line.

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Neutral tones.

Stanza 2

>In the second line we know what it is. The women does not look at the narrator with love or affection. The expression in them is one of boredom which would be aroused if one were to scan tedious riddles that have already been solved. There is no interest in them. 

> The first line describes the smile that hovers on her lips. The smile is not a vibrant thing that transports the narrator to joy but it is dead.

> In words filled with irony, the narrator says that the smile had enough life to make the effort to die. The metaphor used has shades of an oxymoron as life is not generally associated with death. A smile is a gesture connected with happiness and joy but here it is death. 

> The smile was transformed into a horrible bitter grin; it seemed to sweep over her face. 

>The fourth line compares the grin to a flying bird that portends death and destruction, may be a raven or a vulture. This line hints that the woman is evil and capable of bringing harm to the narrator.

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Neutral tones.

Stanza 4

>Ever since this relationship broke, whenever the narrator has had similarly bitter experiences which have brought home to him the fact that love is not permanent and it has a deceptive side to it. And it can cause terrible pain to an individual, his mind conjures.


>The poem is suffused with despair but nowhere is the tone of neutral melancholy really broken. Though the poem is in first person and it speaks of the bitterness that comes after a failed relationship, the narrator sounds strangely detached – as though he realises that there is nothing left to grieve for.

>Though he speaks unflatteringly of the woman, he does not seem to blame her for the breakdown. The ABBA rhyme scheme that the poet uses does not permit any escape.

>The inconsistent and stumbling rhythm of the lines indicates that the relationship has no life left in it. The poem begins and ends with the pond conveying the lack of any positive movement.

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