Comparison Contrast Poems Essay

      The settings of the two poems, like the characters, are totally different.  In “The Indian to His Love,” Yeats makes no attempt to inject realism into his setting:

The island dreams under the dawn

And great boughs drop tranquility:

The peahens dance on a smooth lawn,

A parrot sways upon a tree,

Raging at his own image in the enameled sea.

Clearly, this is a nameless imaginary island surrounded by imaginary seas.    Yeats' descriptions are in flowery metaphoric terms, and all combine to lend a dreamlike quality to the poem. 

In “The Hosting of the Sidhe,” on the other hand, there are none of the qualities of setting present in “The Indian to His Love.”  Yeats tells the reader exactly where in Ireland the action takes place: “The host is riding from Knockarea/ And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare.”  Yeats brings his poetry into the countryside of his people; and, even though his subjects are not real, except perhaps within the mind, they seem more rooted in reality than his hapless Indians.

      Additionally, the depiction of action is different in the two poems.  In “The Indian to his Love, “ Yeats makes no attempt to suggest action beyond the most static activity: “And wander ever with woven hands,/ Murmuring softly lip to lip.”  Nothing moves; nothing betrays real life.  There are no winds, no storms, and no passions on Yeats’ island, only “tranquility.”  Yeats chooses every word carefully to reinforce this picture in the minds of the readers.  He gives no glimpse of the changes he will make in later poems, including “The Hosting of the Sidhe.”

       In “The Hosting of the Sidhe,” quite in contrast to “The Indian to His Love,” the entire poem suggests action: "The host is riding  from Knocknarea" and "Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are agleam/ Our arms are weaving, our lips are apart."  Here is a clear picture of Niamh on his fiery steed, rushing with purpose.  Even nature is there in force: “The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round.” There is nothing within the poem that even remotely suggests peace and tranquility.

Comparison/Contrast of Two poems on a common theme using the block method

Introduction

Identify a SIRV reason for comparing these two poems. What one thing do both poems have to say about the subject?

End the introduction with a thesis statement that identifies both poems by title and author and identifies the SIRV reason for comparing the two poems.



Having children is both a burden and a blessing, as well as an awesome responsibility. Parents can find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster ride as they deal with being parents. Donald Hall's "My Son, My Executioner" and Philip Larkin's "Home is So Sad" reveal some of the emotional burdens parents face in caring for a child.

Poem A

  • Begin with a topic sentence that identifies the poem by title and author and indicates what this poem has to say about the theme common to both poems.
  • Explicate the poem, identifying evidence within the poem supporting the theme being explored.
  • Conclude by reiterating what this poem has to say about the theme under consideration
In Donald Hall's "My Son, My Executioner," the speaker contemplates his newborn child, joyfully accepting surrendering his own life for the welfare of his child.



The rest of the paragraph provides evidence from the poem to support this topic sentence.



Poem B

  • Begin with a transitional sentence that identifies the poem by title and author and indicates what this poem has to say about the theme common to both poems and indicates the relation between what this poem says and what the previous poem says.
    • Examples:
    • Similarity: "Like Poem A by Author A, Poem B by Author B also . . . "
    • Similarity with expansion: "Not only can (whatever Poem A revealed about the theme), but Poem B by Author B shows (whatever extension of this idea Poem B offers)"
    • Contrast: While Poem A by Author A suggests, Poem B by Author B reveals (a different perspective)"
  • Explicate the second poem, identifying evidence within the poem supporting the theme being explored.
  • Conclude by reiterating what this poem has to say about the theme under consideration
While parents may feel an awesome weight of responsibility at the birth of a child, this weight does not dissipate when the children are grown. Philip Larkin's "Home is So Sad" reveals the heavy sense of loss some parents feel, having given their lives to their children, when those children leave home.







The rest of the paragraph provides evidence from the poem to support the topic sentence (second sentence above).

Conclusion

Restate or draw a conclusion about the theme common to both poems and its SIRV for the reader.

Parenting can be daunting and emotionally difficult as these poems reveal. Nevertheless, parents willingly endure the sacrifices and pains of parenting, the disappointments about "how things ought to be" (Larkin, line 7) for the joy of children, "our instrument[s] of immortality" (Hall, line 6).

SIRV - Significant, Important, Relevant, or Valuable reason for writing.       Link to "My Son, My Executioner"       Link to "Home is So Sad"

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