Poetry Contrast

Poetry Contrast

Poetry is an art form where its reading is not an intellectual activity but is more about what the reader feels when reading it and how they respond to it. Reading poetry while responding to the feeling it gives you results in an accurate reading with a better understanding and pleasure. In the same way if one reads poetry accurately and paying attention to detail, one is bound to learn to or automatically respond emotionally to the art form. Poets have a way of using this effect to get the attention of the readers and pass the intended message across. They not only pass the message but also create certain effects on the readers by influencing their emotions using elements of poetry writing.

Elizabeth Barret Browning, author of the poem ‘How do I love thee?’ and Jarold Ramsey who wrote, ‘The tally Stick’, are examples of authors that have used the elements of poetry writing not only to pass their message but also to influence the emotions of their readers while reading their poems. In ‘How do I love thee?’, Browning writes a direct and abstract poem at the same time. The poem is about the different ways in which she feels love. She connects these ways to ideas of obligations, which are high for instance, in the seventh line, she compares the love to justice and in the second through to the fourth line, she compares it to her spiritual aspirations. However, in ‘The Tally Stick’, Ramsey writes a much more concrete poem. The poem focuses its attention on an object; possibly a wooden carving that, like in ‘How do I love thee?’ shows how many ways the couple loves each other.

Both poems are about how deep two couples share a deep love and they both compare the deep love using symbolisms and analogies that represent just how deep the love is. This is seen in the earlier mentioned example where in the seventh line, she compares the love to justice and in the second through to the fourth line, she compares it to her spiritual aspirations. Browning creates an effect of love on the reader by suggesting a wide range of meanings of love and creates a variety of emotions. Her poem is a declaration of her feelings and an assertion of the permanence of the love that shall remain strong even long after their death. The poem contains lines and thoughts that many people would like to be told and through this, the author influences her audiences’ emotions. In the poem ‘The Tally Stick’, the poet uses symbolisms, analogies and imagery when he uses the stick to stand for the love they share. Its physical characteristics seen in the sixth, tenth and twelfth lines show how strong their love is. The carved markings on the stick show the events that are bound to occur in the course of their love, seen in the fifteenth to sixteenth line and in the twentieth to twenty-first line.

In both poems, the poets are speaking and are confessing of their true feelings. Both poets are expressing their contentment with their relationships and are both expressing their plans and hopes with their relationships. They say things that make the reader feel and they create an emotional aura that makes the reader want to experience such a love. The everyday lives of the two lovers in ‘How do I love thee?’ are not highlighted and the experiences they have shared with one another are not seen. The difference between their loving relationship and that of other lovers is also not seen. However in ‘The Tally Stick’, the poet shares very special moments with his lover that are highlighted in the poem from the fifteenth line moving forward. At the very moment of the writing of the poem, the poet is with his lover. This is seen on the twenty-fifth line where they are both touching the stick and reminiscing as the memories dissolve heavily into their emotions as they recall the unforgettable moments of their lives in love with each other. Both poems are very great accounts of the feelings of love from the authors and are both unique in their own ways. Readers of the poems shall react in a different way to each of the poems and the effect the poem has on each reader shall make some prefer one to the other. This preference shall most probably be attributed to the personal experiences of the reader and their emotions.

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