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The Literary Tradition of Love Poetry through a Close Examination of the Poems Cousin Kate and I Wish I Could Remember

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The Literary Tradition of Love Poetry through a Close Examination of the Poems Cousin Kate and I Wish I Could Remember Cousin Kate is a poem about a Cottage Maiden who was complimented and wooed by a lord to get her to have sex with him. He then saw her cousin, Kate, and abandoned the maiden to marry her. The maiden has his child and becomes an outlaw for having him out of wedlock while Kate and the Lord are looked upon as respectable and pure. From the start of the poem we see that the speakers circumstances have changed. I was a cottage maiden Hardened by sun and air, By using the past tense, was, we are immediately alerted that she is no longer a cottage maiden. The word maiden can also show she is unmarried. Throughout the poem she is not given a name, signifying a lack of importance, but also helping us relate to the poem more. As the speaker does not have a name, it could be you saying those things. The fact she lives in a cottage shows she is of lower class, this is also supported by her being Hardened by sun and air, showing she worked in fields and on the land. We learn the maiden was happy with the life she had. Contented with my cottage mates, Not mindful I was fair. The words cottage mates show that her friends are of the same class as her. Using Alliteration in Contented... Cottage helps with the rhythm of the poem and re-inforces she was content and happy and adds to the hurt she is now feeling. Fair is a word of beauty and gives the impression of innocence and naivity. The fact she was not mindful of her beauty makes us aware of the Maidens modesty and of how she sees herself. We se... ... middle of paper ... ...get those times back we are led to believe that the man may have passed away and that has led to her need for reminiscing. This could be why the need to remember is so strong and why she regrets not savouring every second. The last line sums up the whole feeling of the sonnet. First touch of hand in hand- Did one but know! This seems very ambiguous as the first touch of hand in hand could mean a number of things. It could mean in a sexual way but I believe it is very platonic and could mean shaking hands, and that they were strangers at that special time. The very last section portrays her annoyance with herself again by the use of the explanation mark. Although Cousin Kate and I wish I could remember are both very different and hold a very different mood, they are both about regret and lost love.
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