Both poets present different attitudes towards death. Larkin has a more reflective view on death; death seems to be intimidating in his poems however he reflects on the ways in which it affects us all. In Ambulances he uses a vehicle as a subject matter in order to symbolise death metaphorically. Similarly to this Plath uses the subject matter of tulips in her poem ‘Tulips’ to represent the monotony of life and how they are disturbing her death. Plath’s ironic view on death helps her to explore how death has affected her personally, she does this by using a 3rd person point of view in her poem ‘Edge’ which describes her state and appearance after death.
However this soon breaks up as we see the form of the poem reflect its meaning. Edward Thomas uses the breaking up of the rhyme scheme to symbolize his own damaged state of mind and sense of dissatisfaction. Edward Thomas makes contrasts between the simplistic beauty of nature and the impossible difficulty of expressing this beauty in words. “Sublime vacancy” symbolises the immense emptiness he feels but also suggests that he is so overwhelmed by the beauty of the morning that he struggles to describe it as sometimes you have to be there to appreciate the actual moment of beauty or else it’s gone forever. The simplicity of the “sky and meadow and forest” and the purity of the “untouched due” in comparison to himself leaves Edward Thomas “scorning” and feeling insignificant as he can’t match his emotions to the glory of the scenery.
Emily depicts death in an unconventional way, challenging the age old belief of death and its elation to immortality in death. In stanza one, Dickinson personifies death, as being a gentleman with human characteristics. This interpretation put a twist to the age old description of death as a cryptic, sinister figure from hell that comes for our soul and invokes fear into our very being. The speaker said “‘because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me’” (line 1-2), this woman was too busy with her everyday life that she never thought of the inevitability of death. Traditionally, it is taught that death cares and waits for no one; ironically, he ‘kindly’ stops for her, portraying her as though they are going on a date.
The narrator explains in the first line that he “may cease to be” and rushes to include he is afraid to die “before [his] pen has glean’d [his] teeming brain”. It almost seems as though Keats was unable to fit his ideas neatly into spaced lines, with punctuation marks because he is afraid to lose valuable time while he is still living. In Longfellow’s poem, however, pauses, punctuation and composition of multiple sentences produce a relaxed tone and overall feel of the poem. The poem is filled with caesuras that decrease the entire speed of the poem. “Half of my life is gone,” the comma allows for a pause and a deep breath to continue on to say “and I have let the years slip from me”.
How does Heaney make Punishment a disturbing poem? Heaney’s poem Punishment is about the ‘bog people’. These are people whose corpses were naturally preserved in sphagnum bogs. The poem has eleven quatrains, each of which presents a different image of a young girl whose body has been discovered. Heaney is thinking about her death and imagining how she looked.
This is shown within Barrett Browning’s first sonnet as she ponders on Theocritus, who sings about love as Elizabeth Barrett Browning considers her own hopeless and worthless existence. The poem mentions in abundance of mortality in the societal context of that time. Death is personified as a reflection of how death was so common it was domesticated. The volte brings vivid movement and energy to the sonnet as death is revived in the form of “A shadow across me”. The “mystic shape did move” as it draws Elizabeth Barrett Browning “backward by the hair”.
Dickinson’s Because I could not stop for death and Dylan Thomas’s do not go gentle into that good night both demonstrate the nature of death, however Dickinson explores the appreciation for life and abruptness of death, while Thomas contends death by showing remorse for death. Lit elements. Dylan Thomas poetry was written when his father fell ill and was on the verge of death. Two phrases that are mentioned throughout the tercets are “rage rage against the dying of the light.” and “ do not go gentle into that good night”. They are both similar in meaning to fight against death.
“Lo! Death has reared himself a throne,” (1) illustrates not only the already mentioned personalization of Death but the relationship of Death and the City. Poe elaborates on the authority and inevitability of the personified Death by gothically illustrating that religion and money are insignificant in the face of Death. “Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best, have gone to their eternal rest” (4-5) exemplifies exactly how powerful Death is. The lines convey to readers that nothing, including the best things and people, escapes Death’s reach.
The beginning of the sonnet states, “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee” (line 1) Death is apostrophized, being directly spoken to as if this entity were a person. The speaker uses “thee” (line 1), “thou” (line 9), and “thy” (line 12), giving the appearance of a dialogue between two people. In giving death characteristics of being mortal it diminishes the effect of fear that death is associated with. Donne then goes on to personify death, giving the entity human characteristics, “Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so” (line 2) and “Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men” (line 9), these characteristics make death appear defenseless and less fearsome. Throughout the poem metaphors are also present, he frequently compares sleep to death, “From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, / Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow” (lines 5-6).
The poet wants to show the meaning of life. He sheds light on the fact of death and the brevity of our life. The rhetorical question shows that the poet belittles man's life because it is short and transient. The word "division" shows that man's happiness is short and temporary. The word "short" shows the brevity of the earthly life.