Essay about Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards

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Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards

The poems I am going to analyse and compare are 'Remember', 'Up-hill' and 'Looking Back' by Christina Rossetti and 'Afterwards' by Thomas
Hardy. These poems reflect on the theme of loss and how it affects the poets when they reflect on it. The poems also show the poets' preoccupation of death. In these poems, the poets approach the theme of death using various different techniques and linguistic devices.

Christina Rossetti is a passionate and powerful poet; the majority of her poetry has contained the themes of either love or death, and in many cases both. Even in the poems which she wrote for children, these themes are prominent. Hardy too was very close to nature. In his poem
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She looks at it with anger as it is the gate between her lover and herself. This is not so in her other poems. In 'Up-hill' she looks at it with fear and so a series of questions follow. She is unsure of herself and her destination and so naturally her fear causes her to question so much.
In 'Looking Back' she sees death as a time of reflection - a reflection of one's achievements and mistakes. She feels that it is the time for evaluation as it is the final thing left to do before parting away. Hardy looks at death as a time of evaluation - from other people. He feels that once we die other people will remember us because we are no more present with them. In his poem he hopes that he will be remembered for his love of God's gift of nature and not for his fame or achievements.

These poems take a different approach towards death because the poets have contrasting attitudes towards the theme of death. 'Remember' shows Rossetti preparing her lover for her death. In the first half of the sonnet Rossetti is asking her lover to "Only remember me". She is being very selfish in the first half as she shows no concern for her lover's feelings. She is probably being selfish because she is so fearful of death, because it will lead her to "the silent land" where she will be lonesome, away from her lover. However, by the second half she reaches an understanding and she feels that "you should forget and smile than remember and be
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