Comparing the poems Neutral Tones and Absence Essay

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Comparing the poems Neutral Tones and Absence Both the poems 'Neutral Tones' by Thomas Hardy and 'Absence' by Elizabeth Jennings mention and describe the poets' feelings about losing their partners. Even though the general theme, the loss of love, is the same, many features such as tone, imagery, language and rhyme scheme differ from each other. Hardy emphasises more on his feelings towards his break up. He doesn't actually mention how he feels, but instead, the imagery he uses and the way he describes his ex-girlfriend shows that he feels broken and angry. The tone in this poem is very solemn and dull, though it is quite strong in some areas like "The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing" and "your face, and the…show more content…
Hardy seems frustrated at the girl rather than sad that she is leaving him. The line "the smile on your mouth was the deadest thing" is a very forceful line and implies that he is annoyed and not lamenting. On the other hand, Jennings is angry because the environment she was in didn't share her devastation and loneliness. She called the birds "thoughtless", which shows she was angry with them and it also gives the impression that she feels the birds were supposed to feel her pain with her, but instead, was oblivious to her misery. The line, which suggests that she wants to feel happy, is "singing an ecstasy I could not share". The two poets also use different imageries to convey their feelings. The poems are set in two totally different backgrounds. 'Neutral Tones' was set in a lifeless place but 'Absence' was set in a place that was merry. Hardy uses 'dead' images in his poem such as a "winter day", which symbolises coldness and bitterness, "sun was white chidden of God" to symbolise gloom and melancholy, "starving sod" and many more. All these images that Hardy use, emphasise the fact that they have broken up and how he feels angry yet heart-broken at the same time. These 'dead' images are very appropriate to this poem because they show that even nature could sense the loss of passion and the death of a relationship. Hardy uses colours like "white" and "grey" which are dull colours. I also imagine the colour brown even though it is

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