Essay on Analyzing Poetry

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Analyzing Poetry

It is possible to compare and contrast poetry from different literary periods by selecting a poem from each period and examining its use of structure, style, and imagery to enhance its theme. In the Elizabethan period, "Lullaby," by Richard Rowlands; in the Romantic period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Youth and Age;" in the Victorian period, "A Child's Laughter," by Algernon Charles Swinburne; and in the Modern period, Jessica Hagedorn's "Sorcery," the reader will come to the conclusion that they have minor similarities as well as significant differences in the areas of structure, style, theme and imagery. The Romantic poem called "Youth and Age," by Samuel T. Coleridge and the Modern poem, "Sorcery," by
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Furthermore, in "A Child's Laughter" the speaker addresses children, he states, "Something seen and heard of men Might be half as sweet as when Laughs a child of seven." By this quotation, the audience can surmise that the speaker means that there is no sweeter sound he can hear, than that of a child's laughter. In "Lullaby", the speaker's choice of subject is also children, he or she states, "Meantime his love maintains my life and gives my senses her rest." In other words, this child is his or her only reason for living. The reader can infer that these poems are similar in theme because both of their messages stress the innocence and sweetness of children. All of the poems that have been chosen appear to have a common style. In Richard Rowlands' "Lullaby" and "A Child's Laughter," by Algernon Charles Swinburne both speakers mediate on his love or passion for children. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Youth and Age," the speaker focuses on the nature of the aging human. Last but not least, in "Sorcery," by Jessica Hagedorn, the speaker stresses the beauty of an individual. Because each of these poems mediate or focus on life, nature and/or love, they can be classified as being lyrical in style. There is a drastic change in the use of language from the Elizabethan and the Romantic periods to the Victorian and the Modern periods. In "Lullaby" and "Youth and Age," the
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