Poems Comparison Essay examples

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ICCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE POETRY COURSEWORK

In the poems you have studied a recurring theme is that of ‘loss’. This can take many forms: death; identity; hope or loss of innocence

Discuss the poets’ treatment of any aspect of the theme of loss in at least 6 of the poems you have studied.
A minimum of 3 poems should be taken from the anthology.

Poems for discussion:
In detail
- Prayer Before Birth (Louis MacNeice)
- Do not go gentle into that good night (Dylan Thomas)
- A mother in a Refugee Camp (Chinua Achebe)
Referred to
- Poem at Thirty-Nine (Alice Walker)
-Death Of A Son (Jon Silkin)
-Mid Term Break(Seamus Heaney)

Loss is universal. An inevitable condition of life; you cannot have one without the
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People would not want to hear that their loved ones merely gave up and died passively. This poem in itself is a celebration of life, the poem is not only about death but it is an affirmation of life. To further emphasise the points being made Dylan Thomas utilises a wide range of literary devices. Parallelism is used from lines seven to fifteen to juxtapose the different attitudes of the so called “genres” of men at their death. This is used to outline that if you continuously lead one set type of lifestyle whether it is as a “wild man”, a “grave man” or a “good man” you will not be satisfied when your time comes to die. The only true way to be satisfied is to live a life of balance; only with a good contrast can you be at peace.
The general attitude towards loss in “Death Of A Son” is the complete opposite. Whereas Thomas reverently encourages the continuation of life, or at least to fight against death, in “Death of a Son” death is an escape and as a release, it is therefore seen as a relief. The life of this boy has only been a cause of suffering; suffering for his parents having to watch with no hope day after day and also suffering for himself. This is shown as he “neither sang nor laughed” “but rather, like a house in mourning kept the eye turned in to watch the silence”. The word “mourning” here creates a sense of foreboding due to the
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