Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards Essay

Up-hill and Looking Back and Afterwards Essay

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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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