Poetry essay

1103 words 5 pages
How does the poet vividly convey ideas concerning the influence that nature has upon man?
Compare and Contrast at least two poets from cluster one giving detailed close analysis throughout.
(Comparison of ‘Overlooking the River Stour’ by Thomas Hardy and ‘Landscape’ by Michael Longley.)
Equally ‘Overlooking the River Stour’ by Thomas Hardy and ‘Landscape’ by Michael Longley portray to the reader that nature can consume and influence mans’ behaviour. They also both highlight how easily things can come and go through our lives unnoticed and insignificant, without realising its value until it’s lost.
Longley’s use of simile is very effective when conveying to the reader the influence of nature upon man. Using the simile ‘Like a hillside
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The beginning of the stanza, which is an enjambment between the previous stanza ‘Melting into water’ already creates a dismal mood, however shows how easily the ‘otter’ can disappear and become one with nature. Then the final three lines of the stanza ‘A mouth drawn to a mouth’ Showing the inevitability of life, how nature continues as normal and the ‘otter’ swallows the ‘minnow.’ The suggestion of distorting the water ‘ Digests the glass between Me and my reflection.’ Shows how quickly something disappears, it was there and then the water was disturbed and anything that was visible is now invisible. This emphasises the overall power of nature and inevitability of life: we live, and then we die, there is no choice in it, it happens to any living creature.
In contrast Hardy’s poem does not have the same satisfactory summary , the only way we can find out how the poem should be thought to end is by looking at his biography. The poems overall message is about his relationship with his wife. ‘Overlooking the River Stour’ is written in ballad form which tends to tell an idyllic story, however tells anything but an idyllic story through the use of idyllic scenery in nature. The poem leaves the reader on an unsure edge. The lines ‘to see the more behind my back… O never I turned, but let, alack.’ show Hardy’s recognition that he should have


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