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Yeats Burns And Wordsworth Poems Essay Research

Yeats Burns And Wordsworth Poems Essay, Research Paper In this assignment I will compare and contrast three poems based on the theme of love. I will look at ?He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven? by W.B Yeats,

Yeats Burns And Wordsworth Poems Essay, Research Paper

In this assignment I will compare and contrast three poems based on the theme of

love. I will look at ?He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven? by W.B Yeats,

Robert Burns? ?A Red,Red Rose? and the ?Lucy Poems? by Wordsworth. I

will focus on each poet?s tradition and culture, the poet?s use of language

and the similarities and differences between each poem. I will conclude the

assignment with my personal response. ?He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven?

was written by W.B Yeats. William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin in 1865. He

abandoned his painting career after only three years to pursue a writing career

with lyrics and plays. He eventually developed his own individual style and his

work was known for being particularly ?Irish?. He went on writing for the

rest of his life, and eventually died in 1948. In the poem ?He Wishes For The

Cloths Of Heaven? W.B Yeats expresses his love for Maud Gonne. Gonne was an

extreme Nationalist who rejected W.B Yeats and eventually married Major John

MacBride in 1903. After this period there is a noticeable change in Yeats?

poetry, perhaps because he realised his dreams of a life with Maud could never

become a reality. In ?He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven? the tone is calm

and peaceful, due to the sibilants used, nasal and ?L? sounds which combine

to create a dreamlike tone: ?Silver light? ?Softly? ?Embroidered

cloths? To help the tone flow peacefully along there are no exclamation marks,

dashes or monosyllables to interrupt the flow. Yeats creates a soft rhyming

melody and tune, almost like a lullaby. The natural stress in each word helps to

create the rhythm, A B A B C D C D. Yeats? use of language creates very clear

visual images, eg ?heaven? has connotations of peace ,serenity, almost a

nirvana. Likewise ?embroidered? has connotations of perfection, an infinite

array of colours. Throughout the poem Yeats concentrates on colours, especially

different shades of blues of the sky, representing the passage of time, seasons

changing but that throughout all the changes the sky still remains beautiful yet

unattainable. In the first four lines of the poem Yeats creates a detailed image

of heaven and its perfection and beauty. Through this he states his wishes/ In

the following four lines he reveals what he would do with those wishes. He lays

his soul bare, and shows the depth of his love by declaring his undying love for

Maud Gonne. The only person who deserves such wealth as the heavens, is Maud. If

Yeats were God, and owned the heavens, the only one worthy of receiving them

would be Maud. He elaborates on this by saying even the heavens would only be

good enough for her to walk upon. By stating this, Yeats is exalting his love:

she is like a Goddess and he is undeserving of her. He deems himself unworthy

and humbles himself. In the following line Yeats writes: ?But I, being poor,

have only my dreams.? Through this, Yeats suddenly becomes more realistic: he

knows he is not God and he knows he doesn?t own the heavens. The only thing of

value and beauty he owns are his dreams. He has made himself vulnerable by

spreading all his dreams and desires before Maud, and now she must decide if she

will return his love and make his wildest dreams come true, or trample and tear

his cloths and shatter his dreams. The poem ends softly: ?Tread softly because

you tread on my dreams.? He is waiting anxiously to see her reaction and is

gently pleading that she will not reject him. Through this last line he is

begging her to be kind: she has his heart and dreams in her hand; she has the

power to decide his fate. This poem is similar to Burns? and Wordsworth?s

poems in many ways. All three sound like a song, a gentle calming lullaby. Each

poem creates visual imagery from nature surrounding them. They are also similar

due to the language used. None of the poems use complex, elaborate, difficult,

language but instead, plain language that is easily understood by all, Burns?

poem also contains some Scots dialect. The three poems are also similar as the

subject of all three poems is love. In both Wordsworth?s and Yeats? poem the

love was unreturned. The most striking thing about ?A Red, Red Rose? by

Robert Burns is the ScotS dialect used. Burns was born in 1759, as the son of an

Ayrshire farmer who was an avid reader and helped in his son?s education.

Burns? work is amoung the best loved in the English language possibly because

of the thought and passion he poured into his comic and dramatic poems and

verse, and his sense of humour and skill for satire. Burns could also be thought

of as the saviour of English poetry because of his ability to depict everyday

life in rural Scotland and his use of Scots dialect, this gave English poetry a

new lease of life. He died at the age of thirty seven of rheumatic fever in

Dumfries. In the first line Burns compares his love to a ?Red, Red Rose?

using a simile. By repeating ?Red? twice he emphasises the depth and

strength of the colour to the depth of his love. Burns repeats many phrases eg

?dry? twice for emphasis and rhyming reasons. Every second and fourth line

rhyme which succeeds in creating a lullaby effect. He elaborates: ?Newly

sprung in June? This is to show that his love is still young and vulnerable

but will keep growing until it becomes full and strong and will blossom into

full radiance and beauty. Burns then compares his love to a beautiful song that

is sweetly played, again a simile. He is comparing a beautiful tune to a

beautiful love that will never age as music never ages. In the following line

Burns directly addresses his love for the first time using an example of Scots

dialect: ?My bonnie lass? Throughout the poem many examples of Scots dialect

are visible and these succeed in constantly reminding the reader that the poem

is easier to relate to, the love is easier to relate to. By directly addressing

his love he makes her appear more human and the relationship more realistic.

Burns actually addresses her six times throughout the poem. In the second verse,

he talks of his deep love for his ?bonnie?. He is in love with her as much

as she is beautiful and will continue to love her: ?Till a? the seas dry?.

This is the same as saying he will love her for all time, she should never doubt

the sincerity and commitment of his love. In the third verse he continues to

prove the depth of his love by stating again he will love her until the seas run

dry and the rocks melt with the sun. Through this he creates visual imagery,

allowing the reader to visualise the seas and the sun beating down on the rocks.

Burns yet again attempts to show the depth of his love by saying that he will

still love her even when life itself is over: Burns begins verse four with:

?And fare thee weel? Again Scots dialect, meaning ?farewell?. This

reveals that he is leaving her, but we soon discover he is not leaving forever,

as he promises to return. For the first time throughout the poem Burns includes

an exclamation mark, which is another method of declaring and emphasising his

true love for her. He also uses another method for emphasis and making his

statement more powerful and spontaneous: he repeats the word ?and?. Burns

ends the poem on a hopeful and inspiring note. He promises that he will cross

any obstacle to be with her again: this is proof of his deep love. The tone of

the poem is lighthearted, hopeful and tender. This is in contrast to ?He

Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven? by Yeats and the ?Lucy poems? by

Wordsworth, both of which end in a despairing tone. There is a major contrast

between Yeats? love, Maud Gonne, who was confident, outspoken and infamous and

Wordsworth?s love Lucy who appears quiet and isolated. In contrast to this

Burns? ?bonnie? Jean Armour seems human and realistic which makes the

relationship seem believeable as opposed to Yeats who put his love up on a

pedestal and worshipped her. Another difference between the poems is that at the

end of Burns? poem the reader is convinced that the two lovers will eventually

be reunited, and in real life Burns did actually succeed in marrying his

childhood sweetheart. It seems unlikely that Yeats? dreams of a life with

Gonne will become a reality and in the ?Lucy poems? it is an impossibility

as Lucy dies. William Wordsworth was born in Cumberland in 1770, and at thirteen

years of age became an orphan. Wordsworth had a new, modern approach towards

poetry which in his time was unheard of, he felt poetry should be about emotions

and feelings, it shouldn?t be inhibited or stifled by politics or city social

life. He looked to nature, the English countryside for inspiration and many of

his most famous poems involve nature. Wordsworth changed the direction of

English poetry and his influence is still visible today. In ?I Travelled Among

Unknown Men? Wordsworth begins by personifying England. He addresses it

directly as if it were alive. He speaks of his departure from England and how

alone he felt among strangers. It was only when he left England that he realised

how much he loved his homeland. In the second verse he compares his time abroad

to a bad dream through the use of a metaphor and to emphasise this he uses an

exclamation mark: ?Tis past, that melancholy dream!? He makes a defiant

promise to himself that never again will he abandon England, and for the second

time personifies it and using strong, resolute, vivid language to show his love

for England: ?To love thee more and more.? In the third verse he uses visual

imagery to conjure up an idyllic image of his love sitting at her spinning wheel

beside a glowing fire among the English hillside. This is the first time he

introduces his love and we can tell by his description of her that he cherishes

and admires her and wants to protect her. It is a very patriotic image, being

secure and comfortable in England, while also showing the strength of his love.

Wordsworth then links his love for England with his love for Lucy, a dual love.

The reader begins to learn more about Lucy. She is portrayed as a quiet, lonely

girl who is not valued and hidden away from the outside world. The reader is

lulled into a false sense of security by the first two lines in verse four. They

sound gentle and ?English?, almost like playing a musical instrument, then

suddenly the reader is shocked and saddened: ?And thine too is the last green

field that Lucy?s eyes surveyed.? This evokes a personal response from the

reader. We feel great sympathy for Wordsworth as his love has died. We can now

understand why Wordsworth made his defiant vow never to leave England, to leave

England would be to leave Lucy?s memory behind, Lucy and England have become

intertwined in his memory. In ?She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways? Lucy?s

solitary nature is pursued. He compares Lucy to a violet hidden behind a mossy

stone, Wordsworth uses visual imagery through nature. He then compares Lucy to a

solitary star, a solitary and unique person. The last verse takes on a sad,

melancholy tone as Wordsworth expresses his deep sadness at her death. Lucy

lived and died unknown to anyone. Her death didn?t matter to anyone except

him. Her death has evoked pure emotion and vivid responses. She completely

changed his life and he will always remember her: ?The difference to me!?

The final poem ?A Slumber Did My Spirit Did Seal? has a mood of serenity and

peace. The pace is slowed down by the language used. When Wordsworth sleeps in

that semi-conscious state Lucy is with him and in his mind she is still young

and to him she always will be. Suddenly Lucy no longer seems hidden away or

forgotten because she will always be remembered by him, in his mind she is

untouchable. Wordsworth has lost his love but in English nature and his dreams

he is reunited with Lucy. Compared to Yeats? and Wordsworth?s poem Burns?

poem, ?A Red, Red Rose? seems less powerful and somehow his love doesn?t

seem as strong, although it is much more realistic and human , and it actually

ends optimistically. In Wordworth?s poem the more I read the better my

understanding of it, the more powerful it became and the more I could empathise

with it. It too reveals much suffering and pain. From the three poems I examined

I was most greatly affected by ?He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven? by W.B

Yeats. The emotion and power in the poem, and Yeats? humbling declaration of

his undying love for Gonne was overwhelming. It was heart wrenching to imagine

Yeats spreading his dreams beneath her feet and knowing that, in the end, she

rejected him. It is also a poem for today because it is a poem about unrequited

love which everyone can empathise with.

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