28 March 2012
Analysis of Two Poems: ‘‘Love After Love’’ by Derek Walcott and ‘‘Ithaca’’ by Kostantinos Cavafys
‘‘Love After Love’’ is a poem written by Derek Walcott, that focuses on our ability to find ourselves after being lost or in great pain. In the other poem, "Ithaca", Kostantinos Cavafys tells us that a journey is about the experiences and knowledge gained while travelling towards a destination that is of greater importance than the destination itself. Therefore, these two poems have some similarities, as well as differences about their context. What’s really interesting is that in both of these poems the language that is used is in second person.
In his poem ‘‘Ithaca’’, Cavafys uses an allusion. He uses the the myth of the Odyssey as a metaphor for the journey of life. Odysseus’ ten year voyage home from the Trojan war, with its many turnings and adventures, is a metaphor for a fulfilling life. Furthermore, Cavafys chooses Laistrygonias, Cyclops and Angry Poseidon (lines 4-5) as enemies to symbolize conflict. He also makes clear that the reader should not fear these external conflicts: “…you won’t meet them / unless you carry the in your soul” (lines 11-12)
Cavafys also uses symbolism in order to capture reader’s interest with facts and stories that readers are already familiar with. For example, a symbolism is the idea of coming into new harbors. The harbours are happy times and places in life where pleasure, knowledge and experience are gained. Cavafys mentions two main types: Phoenician trading stations and Egyptian cities. (lines 19,24).
In the Phoenician stations, one is to buy fine things and sensual perfumes and be exposed to art, beauty and culture and in the end enjoy everything that is given.
When visiting Egyptian cities, the message again is to enjoy luxury and beauty when the chance arises, but also enjoy the opportunity to gain knowledge and education. (Unknown source)
The final, and perhaps most important, symbol...