Relationships Poetry Anthology

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La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Ballad form (into 12 quatrains) 

  • Many regular people couldn't read or write (accessible and memorable)
  • Repetition of ideas (recurring motif) and refrains
  • Direct speech - adds theatricality and engages audience (Ballad) "I love thee true"
  • The question at the start is answered at the end.- Cyclic structure

Flower imagery and metaphors

  • "lily on thy brow", pale death.  A contrast between wildflowers and their connotations.
  • Garland - like a wedding ring, control.
  • 'Wild' (epizeuxis) - enchanting - passive transfer of control.

Other notes

  • Romantic poet used mythology
  • Opposite of damsel in distress (parody)
  • Retrospect - reliability
  • Pathetic fallacy
1 of 15

A child to his sick grandfather

Context
Daughter of a Presbyterian minister
Shares 1 romantic theme (not romantic era) - Ordinary people rather than Kings and Gods.
One of the only woman writer of her era

Language
Changing tenses - coming to terms with grief (religion)
Rhetorical Question - desperation, emotive.

Structure
Direct address (2nd person) - "Lead you kindly" (imperative) 
refrain (of address) - "dad" (close), epiphora  showing desperation.
The last line is shorter - couplets show equal relationship until the end.

2 of 15

She walks in Beauty

Context

  • Romantic poet
  • After the poem was written he got married and divorced.
  • Rumours that he had affairs with actresses and his half-sister and abused his wife
  • "Mad bad and dangerous to know" - went to Europe and fought for Greek independence from the Ottoman empire.

Structure and Language

  • Iambic tetrameter - Sincerity and simplicity
  • Triadic structure - emphasis on last
  • Contrast - "Dark and bright"
  • Sibilance - serenely sweet express" Ethereal, (romantic - not rational)

Sense of wonder - women and the natural world (Context)

3 of 15

A complaint

Context

  • Pioneer of Romantic era - Nature and high emotion
  • Partnership with Coleridge - about him
  • Grew up in a rustic area where his dad died - Birthplace had an effect on his writing.
  • Didn't see his child for years due to the French revolution (Wife and Daughter lived in France) 

Language and Structure

  • Caesura
  • 3 participles (active verbs) - "murmuring, sparkling, living love"
  • Cyclical structure - "fond hearts door"
4 of 15

Neutral tones

Context

  • Doomed love and imperfections - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • Romantic influence - Death of countryside and industrial revolution impact

Language

  • Pathetic fallacy - "Sun was white, as though chidden of God" - 12th Century word stands out - stuck in the past.
  • "were grey" -> "greyish leaves": setting changes with writers memory
  • Oxymoron - "Alive enough to have the strength to die" - Not getting on
  • Semantic field of neutral colours -  'grey' ironic because reader is angry, not neutral, Nature is indifferent and doesn't care - challenges romantic influence

Structure

  • Cyclical structure - no sense of closure
  • Ballad - (ABBA) unconventional rhyme scheme for Ballad form - damage in relationship
  • Dramatic monologue - 'Your', high emotion, confession, in the moment.
5 of 15

Sonnet 43

Context

  • Invalid for most of her life - Did lots of reading (Heavily influenced by the Bible)
  • Fell in love with Robert Browning (She was already married) and ran away to Italy with him.
  • Wrote 44 Sonnets in private before they got married

Language

  • Archaic language - "I love thee": Imagery & connotations to love: Love is spiritual
  • Questions/Direct address - "How do I love thee?" - Confident, love should be questioned, Untraditional - can be counted
  • Emotive language - High emotion (context - Invalid)

Structure

  • Italian Sonnet - Traditional love poem (Octave + sestet) - Love is same as any other
  • Capitalisation - "Being and Ideal Grace" - Biblical and devotion. Being compared to worshiping God
  • Caesura - Attention to High emotion. Doesn't flow perfectly (love isn't)
6 of 15

My Last Duchess

Context

  • Wanted to be a play write - Narrative poetry
  • About a powerful character from Renaissance - Duke Ferrera
  • Patriarchal society - Women are subservient, Men in charge 

Language

  • Possessive pronouns - "My" - control
  • Metaphor - "Notice Neptune, though, taming a sea-horse" - Powerful controlling something delicate yet wild but peaceful. Seahorses can't be tamed aren't a threat
  • Symbolism - "The curtain I have drawn" - Only to be seen on occasion. Death

Structure

  • Dramatic Monologue - 1 perspective, biased (symbolic of what we know about her)
  • Rhetorical Questions - "Will't you please sit and look at her" - Not a question but an imperative command. Power
  • Repetition (antanaclasis[?]) - "as if alive" - at the start (realistic) and end (no longer alive - taunting beyond death). Emphasis that she is dead.
7 of 15

1st date He + She

Context

  • 21st-century dating
  • OBE and feminist
  • Satirist - "Making cocoa for Kingsley Amis" collection

Language

  • Pronouns - "I/She"
  • "Where are we?" - Play or in relationship
  • Euphemism - "It wasn't entirely untrue" - the whole thing is a disaster but they pretend otherwise

Structure

  • Ballad - amusing, predictable
  • Motif/repetition - "undistracted by me"
  • 2 monologues - dual perspective, ironic/symbolic - next to each other but don't share feelings.
8 of 15

Valentine

Context

  • Current Poet laureate
  • Explores conflict/dark side of relationships (Havisham) and perspective of hurt lover
  • Challenges Stereotypes (The world's wife)

Language

  • Alliteration "Cute card" - Sarcastic tone
  • Metaphor "moon wrapped in brown paper" - Hyperbole, expectations of love
  • "It will blind you with tears like a lover" - Smilie - not able to see things as they are. An opinion stated as fact (convinced from experience).
  • "Take it" imperative: Subversion. commitment is forceful "shrink to a wedding ring" metaphor

Structure

  • Syntax - Most lines end with a noun for imagery. "heart" to "knife"
  • Irregular - ups and downs of a relationship. Short sentences are forceful.
  • Enjambment - constant attention in a relationship.
9 of 15

One Flesh

Context

  • Catholic
  • member of 'The movement' - Anti-modernist/romantic - been through 2 wars and believes the past shouldn't be romanticised.
  • 20th Century - Talk about sexual/physical relationships openly.

Structure

  • Juxtaposition and contrast "strangely apart yet strangely close"
  • Irregular rhyme scheme - unpredictable
  • pronouns - a Universal couple (i.e 'he' not 'my dad' )
10 of 15

i wanna be yours

Context

  • Performance poet and musician - "Bard of Salford"
  • Punk Poet - Often uses comedy

Language

  • metaphor - "let me be your" - possessive, control in a good way. household objects. love is every day, not romantic moments.
  • simile/ epizeuxis /hyperbole- "deep as the Atlantic ocean, deep deep deep"
  • Pun "coffee pot/ call the shots" - love isn't serious

Structure

  • No punctuation - breaking the rules (punk poet)
  • anaphora + epiphora -"let me be your/ i wanna be yours" - in a submissive role
  • rhyme/lyrical - context.
11 of 15

Love's Dog

Context

  • Post-modern - Referencing other texts
  • Intertextual - Alice in Wonderland
  • Satirises the Couplet form - not predictable (usually used)

Language
Anaphora
Metaphor/reference "eat me/drink me" - love is fantasy
possessive impersonal pronoun - "What I hate about love is its ..." - personification of love

Structure
coupler - half rhymes yet unpredictable. go together but not.
Change of tone. "what I loathe"

12 of 15

Nettles

Context

  • Two of his children predeceased him.
  • Ex-army (WW2) - war/conflict is everywhere.

Language

  • Plosive alliteration - aggression "blister beaded"
  • Personification - aggression, conflict

Structure

  • Iambic pentameter - heartbeat/marching army
  • Juxtaposition "nettle bed" - innocence/ military
  • "and" repetition - memory being recollected.
13 of 15

The Manhunt

Context

  • Based on C4 documentary "The not dead" (He is a modern poet)
  • Bosnian war (also focuses on social issues of war)
  • Role of Pain in relationships

Language

  • Semantic field (body and objects) - being dehumanised, not in control of his identity. Physical body in a relationship
  • verbs become more intimate - "trace" to "hold"
  • Metaphor - martial imagery. lack of intimacy in the army - "grazed heart".

Structure

  • Rhyming couplets - couple or organised like military (subversion, wife takes active role)
  • repetition - Desperation of wife ("only then...")
  • Antithesis - starts off "passionate nights" to violent images.
14 of 15

My Father would not show us

Context

  • South-African poet - Parent/Child relationships transcend nationality and race.
  • Emotional distance of the previous generation

Language

Structure

Time

15 of 15

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