Montague and Heaney

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Compare and contrast the methods which the two poets use to explore the theme of love in two poems you have studied. John Montague and Seamus Heaney are two of the most renowned Irish poets, both writing in the post 1960s. Although many of their poem focus on love contain references to love and human relationships the two which I feel focus most on this theme are “All Legendary Obstacles” by John Montague from ‘A Chosen Light’ and “The Skunk” by Seamus Heaney. Both titles are quite ambiguous as neither point directly to the theme of romance. The title if Heaney’s poem is only made clear after reading the poem as you do not expect “The Skunk” to have any connotations with his wife. Similarly the titles of Montague The title “All Legendary Obstacles” seems very grand and the use of the word “legendary” suggests something magical and unrealistic. From the outset the relationship depicted in Montague’s poem seems mysterious. Heaney’s uses four six lined stanzas poem is composed of four-six lined “The Skunk” is composed of four-six six-four lined stanzas in which Heaney conveys his love for his wife Maire as he reminisces about a time when he was separated from her whilst in California. His sense of longing for his partner is clearly depicted via the enjambment used between stanzas three and four, perhaps to prolong the memory of his wife. In contrast in “All Legendary Obstacles” it is unknown whether the relationship is based on fact or fiction. The four-six lined stanzas tell of the narrator waiting for the arrival of his lover. However there do seem to be some flaws in this relationship as the full stops between each stanza not only break the continuity of the poem, but also makes the relationship seem disjointed. Throughout Montague’s poem the tone is quite pessimistic and nervous as he awaits and it causes the reader to wonder whether Montague
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