Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards

Powerful Essays
Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards

The poems I am going to analyse and compare are 'Remember', 'Up-hill'

and 'Looking Back' by Christina Rossetti and 'Afterwards' by Thomas

Hardy. These poems reflect on the theme of loss and how it affects the

poets when they reflect on it. The poems also show the poets'

preoccupation of death. In these poems, the poets approach the theme

of death using various different techniques and linguistic devices.

Christina Rossetti is a passionate and powerful poet; the majority of

her poetry has contained the themes of either love or death, and in

many cases both. Even in the poems which she wrote for children, these

themes are prominent. Hardy too was very close to nature. In his poem

there are vivid descriptions of objects and the element of nature is

almost always present.

The titles of these poems all give a hint about what the poem is

about. 'Remember' tells us that the poet wants to be remembered for

something. Often one is remembered after her death because the pain of

loss keeps bringing back her memories. In the poem Rossetti does ask

her lover to remember her and demands that he should "Only remember

me". 'Up-hill' tells us that that the poet is probably going on a

journey. This journey is the journey of life, which Rossetti is

inquiring about in her poem. 'Looking back' shows us that the poet is

reflecting on something. Again, one always 'looks back' on life when

he is near his death to see what he has done and evaluate his life.

'Afterwards' is also a title which could refer to the theme of death.

Hardy wants to know what will happen 'afterwards' when he is dead. He

wants to be remembered not for his fame but for his closeness to

nature and for the person ...

... middle of paper ...

...ill' on the other hand shows

how heaven will be - a place of comfort after a journey which "take

the whole long day". 'Looking Back' is meant to convey that death is a

time of evaluation of one's life. One should look back "along life's

trodden way" and meditate on the mistakes and hardships of life. In

'Afterwards' Hardy says that death is a time of evaluation from others

and that you should be remembered for what you are and not because you

are famous or have achieved something. He also hopes that he will be

remembered for his familiarity with nature and how he "could do

little" for it even though he tried.

I feel that all the poems effectively convey the theme of loss. All

poems have a different approach but the basic idea is clear: death is

inevitable. However, the poets have different views on death and its

effect on them and those close to them.
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