Thursday, 9 February 2012

Compare the way two of the poems use language to convey emotions

A variety of emotions are presented throughout the relationships section of the Anthology. It is conveyed as something that can affect a relationship, whether that be for better or worse.  Emotions also imply connections to the author giving the poem a more secluded meaning and allowing the reader to uncover a story of their own.

Certain emotions are shown in the occasional poem, 'Born Yesterday', Philip Larkin, named one of the best post-war poets in 2008, tells the story of a girl named Sally Amis, displaying the nascent stages of her life. As there is simplistic language used throughout the poem most readers will not notice many deep emotions conveyed from this poem. However, the meaning behind this poem is quite despairing, within the first line care is shown, "I have wished you something", this phrase shows a unique style of care for someone. This also shows that the speaker has great admiration for this newborn baby. The first two stanzas express natural, deep and genuine emotions for Sally. Larkin uses the idea of a promise and with the use of enjambment to keep the mellifluous tone to the poem. These all signify positive emotions.

Nevertheless the tone and mood of the poem changes with the use of the conjunction, 'but'. Now, the poem conveys spite, this presentes a juxtaposition between the two emotions, care and spite. Spitefulness is firstly shown with the use of the adjective within the phrase, "May you be ordinary". The adjective, 'ordinary' devalues the feelings that he had for her in the first two stanzas of the poem. This shows two oxymoronic phrases as the first line of the poem shows a unique feeling for someone and line 12 contradicts that and refers to her as ordinary. The acerbic tone continues with the repetition of the adverb, 'not' to describe her appearance, it also distinguishes any feature of her appearence. The idea of someone being normal and ordinary continues to show, "In fact may you be dull", this connotes harsh, pessimistic feelings towards her. Following after that line, the poem ends with a cluster of fast paced adjectives, 'vigilant, flexible, unemphasised and enthralled'. These all broaden the meaning of a dull sense of realism.

Similar to Born Yesterday, To His Coy Mistress begins with implying genuine love for someone and using hyperbole expressions, it enhances the passion that the speaker had for his lover. Instead of relating to the future in Born Yesterday, To His Coy Mistress focuses more on physical attributes, "Two hundred to adore each breast", this conveys a flattering, romantic tone to the poem. Also To His Coy Mistress uses enjambment to add a mellifluous effect to the poem, same to Born Yesterday, both these poems show a significant juxtaposition, the conjunction, 'but' is evidence for this. It instantly changes the mood in both poems which has an effect on the language. For example, "The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace", in this example there is an acerbic sarcastic feel. The last rhyming couplet, "Thus, though we cannot make our sun. Stand still, yet we will make him run". this summaries the impatience and reluctance shown in the poem.

In conclusion both these poems display a divide of emotion, from positive to negative. In my opinion, the meaning behind To His Coy Mistress is more acerbic and goes into much finer detail about the negatives in comparison to Born Yesterday, in result conveying deeper emotion. To expand on this, the meaning beyond Born Yesterday, Sally Amis lived a wild lifestyle due to drinking. The speaker wished a healthy, better lifestyle for her. Sadly she died at the age of 42, adding to the sorrow of the poem and noticing that the first two stanzas reflected the past and the last two stanzas unraveled the drastic present that she was living.

Luke Murray

1 comment:

  1. Excellent response, Luke. Thanks for uploading it.

    Mr Claydon.


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