Essay about Themes of Love and Loss in Poetry

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Themes of Love and Loss in Poetry

In this essay, we are going to analyse five poems to study the way love and loss are treated in the pre-nineteenth century poems, "So, we'll go no more a roving" and "When we two parted" by Lord Byron, "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare, "How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti. After looking at the level of implication of each of the poets in their writing, we will show the way they treat the themes of love and loss.

Written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century, "Sonnet 116" is the most ancient poem in this collection. It has fourteen lines and is structured into three quatrains and an ending couplet. The
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In the last couplet however, Shakespeare ceases his "lesson" and is willing to deny all his written work if his error on the subject was proved.

This fact makes this piece of work an argumentative poem, marking a strong difference between the other four of this collection which have an important romantic tone.

"How do I love Thee" by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning is another poem which only speaks of love and doesn't mention loss. It is an iambic pentameter poem, it has fourteen lines like Shakespeare's sonnet. It is an almost lyric poem as it contains much emotion, sparks the reader's imagination and has a melody like that of an epigram. It is an Italian sonnet, shown by its rhymic pattern ABBA ABBA CDC DCD and has a masculine rhyme to create a theme of love and a romantic atmosphere.

Contrasting with "Sonnet 116", this poem is very personal, the poet is talking in the first person "I", "my" and is adressing her lover by "thee". She enumerates the ways in which she loves him, creating many metaphors. " I love thee to the level of everyday's most quiet need" means she loves him in the most ordinary situations, "by sun & candlelight", by day and night. In the verses 7 to 12, she compares her love to the passion men feel when fighting for their convictions, to her past feelings of childhood innocence, to the love with which she