Moon on the Tides Poetry

Revision cards for the content of each relationship poem.

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  • Created by: meera
  • Created on: 18-12-11 11:50

Sonnet 116

About: How constant true love is and that under any circumstances true love will never change.

Language: "If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved" - Shakespeare guarantees us that love is true.

Form: A sonnet (made up of 14 lines). A sonnet is a traditional love poem. This sonnet is made up of 3 quatrains with a rhyming couplet at the end. 

Compare to 'To His Coy Mistress'...

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To His Coy Mistress

About: A man telling his lover that she shouldn't play hard to get and that she should want to be flattered. He mentions that they should enjoy the love and time they have together.

Language: "Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, Lady, were no crime." - This demonstrates that if time was unlimited then they wouldn't have to worry about the woman's shyness.

  • First Stanza: Explains that he would spend forever flattering the woman.
  • Second Stanza: Says that they won't live forever, so he cannot flatter her forever.
  • Third Stanza: Just get on with it!

Compare to 'Sonnet 116' or 'In Paris With You'...

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The Farmer's Bride

About: A farmer who chose a woman he wanted to marry. However,she is terrified of her husband and cannot stand him.


  • "The berries redden up to Christmas-time" - Relates to fertility.
  • "Black earth spread white with rime" - Winter is used to suggest the death and decay of his hopes.

Nature Imagery: Describes the Farmer's Bride as pure and natural.

Compare to 'Hour' or 'In Paris With You'...

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Sonnet 43

About: Barret Browning expressing her intense love for her husband-to-be. She relates the poem to spiritual and religious imagery. They believe that they will love each other after death.


  •  "How do I love thee?" - emphasises the depth of her love. The constant use of the same words at the beginning of a phrase is called anaphora, which is used in the bible relating to religious meanings.
  • "Better after death" - links love to heaven which suggests purity and religious connotations.

Compare to 'Ghazal'

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About: A 3 year old boy who falls into a bed of nettles and gets badly hurt. His father tries to comfort him and then he goes out and chops down the nettles. However, they grow back .

Meaning: Children will always experience pain and parents cannot always be there to protect them.

Language: "Regiment of spite" - Personification of the nettles makes them sound like an army and relates to war imagery, connoting that the nettles attacked the boy on purpose.

Painful Language: The narrator uses a lot of painful language which links to the pain of growing up.

Compare to 'The Manhunt'...

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Born Yesterday

About: Larkin wrote this poem for Sally Amis, his god-daughter. He wishes for the child to be full of useful and practical talents.

Language: "Tightly-folded bud" - Natural beauty, like the beginning of a flower.

Form and Structure: No set rhythm scheme makes the poem sound more like a story. However, the rhyming couplet at the end puts more emphasis on the conclusion.

  • The poet begins with a conversational tone saying that the gifts he wishes for the child are unusual.
  •  The second stanza becomes more direct and emphatic about the virtue to become happy.  

Compare to 'To His Coy Mistress'

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The Manhunt

About: A woman who tries to reconnect with her partner after he returns, damaged from war .

Language: "Porcelain collar bone" - Demonstrates fragility, delicate emotions and trauma.

  • Different injuries are demonstarted in different couplets.
  • The man's body is described using damaging adjectives and metaphors which links to the man being emotionally and physically broken.

Compare to 'Nettles'...

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About: An hour spent between two lovers. The poet uses personification to describe time as love's enemy.

Language: "Bright as a dropped coin" - suggest that the hour is really special and close to their heart.

  • Varying line lengths and rhythm patterns.
  • Addressed to her lover - more direct and intimate.
  • Time is the enemy of love.
  • Plays with ideas about the value of money.

Compare to 'To His Coy Mistress'...

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In Paris With You

About: The poet (James Fenton) is upset about love. His break-up has caused him to feel a victim of love. He has gone to Paris with another woman but still seems very unhappy.


  •  "I'm a hostage" - suggest that he is being over dramatic and feels trapped. (War Image)
  • "Hotel walls are peeling" - Dull hotel could resemble the emotional state of the relationship, crumbling apart.
  • The poet avoids romantic cliches.

Compare to 'Sister Maude' or 'Quickdraw'...

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About: The phone calls and texts in a relationship that relate to a gun fight in the 'Wild West'. The narrator seems to feel the pain the most.The narrator is finished of by a series of text message kisses that strike her like bullets.

Language: "In the old Last Chance saloon" - A classic western image but suggests the end of a relationship.

  • Loose structure - adds to the tension.
  • A lot of enjambment, alliteration and assonance - more tension and unpredictablity.
  • Cliched western imagery contrasts with modern day technology.

Compare to 'The Farmer's Bride' and 'In Paris With You'...

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About: Someone expressing their intense love. She conjures up new images in each stanza.


  • "I'll be twice the me" - Ghazals traditionally feature the poet's name in the last stanza, often through a play on words, "twice the me" is Mimi (the poet).
  • "If I am" - trying out different scenarios on her beloved.

Nature Imagery: Makes the poem seem timeless - suggesting her love is permanent.

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About: The narrator remembers a time from his childhood where he and his elder brother were given the responsibility to look after their younger brother. However, they were so excited to go out alone that they ran of and left the young boy alone.


  • "I ran on, unable to close the distance I'd set in motion" - Ambiguos, both the physical distance and the distance in their relationship.

Maturity Language: The older two boys think they are mature because they talk and act confidently.

Compare to 'Sister Maude' or 'Nettles'...

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Praise Song For My Mother

About: The different aspects of a mother-daughter relationship, showing how the mother meant everything to the child. The mother is related to different nature necessities.

Language: "Go to your wide futures, you said" - Suggests endless possibilities...

  • The poem is expressing the daughter's thanks for her mother's love and support.
  • The last stanza has an odd layout, which suggests a loss of connection or bond

Compare to 'Nettles' or 'Ghazal'...

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Sister Maude

About: A woman who told her parents about her sister having a love affair. The writer is written through the eyes of the character who had the affair. The writer is very abusive and aggressive to her sister.


  •  "Bide you with death and sin" - Repeats the idea that the narrator is cursing her sister.
  • "Comeliest Corpse" - Juxtaposition higlights her sense of loss.

Angry Language: The poet uses sibilance (alliteration using 's' sounds) as if she is spitting the words out.

Compare to 'Brothers' or 'Sonnet 116'...

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About: The narrator and his father picking up an old harmonium from a church. He looks back on the passage of time and how the relationship between the pair has slowly faded. His father makes a joke about his death, which makes the narrator slighlty uncomfortable.


  •  "Gathering dust" - Unwanted, neglected and hopeless.
  • "Father and Son" - Generations who have sung in the church leads him to think of his own relationship with his father.

Language about passing of time: The damage to the harmonium relates to the passing of time in their relationship.

Compare to 'Nettles'...

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Useful  time saver and constructive-thanks


This was very helpful.


very hepful. :) thnaks

Mohammed abdi

thanks, extremely helpful!!!

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