Love poems have always been very popular because love is one of the
deepest emotions that people can feel and poetry is a good way to
express such an emotion. When people think of love, they think of a
typical romantic love but an exploration of pre-1914 love poetry shows
other types of love such as unrequited love and obsessive love. The
poems I will explore in depth are ‘To his Coy Mistress’ by Andrew
Marvin, ‘The Garden of Love’ by William Blake, and ‘How do I love
thee’ by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.
Blake’s poem ‘The Garden of Love’ is his view of being deceived by the
perception of marriage. He has shown this by using the Chapel to
symbolize marriage. When he gets there he finds ‘Thou shalt not’
written over the door and he thinks this symbolizes restrictions. He
uses the language of the Ten Commandments to emphasize this. He also
finds a gate around the Chapel, symbolizing yet more restrictions.
The tone of the poem is negative and this is unlike the other poems
which show a more optimistic view of love. This negative tone is shown
by the ‘tombstones’ being where the flowers of the ‘Garden of Love’
should be. This may have been influenced by the fact that Blake was
writing in the time of the French Revolution which was a time of great
social upheaval and uncertainty. Also this poem is part of Blake’s
‘Songs of Experience’ where he goes back to some earlier ideas and
finds hat things that seemed good when he was younger are not so good
when you grow older.
Another poem with a negative tone is ‘Villegiature’ by Edith Nesbit
who was writing after Blake. This poem is not about the restrictions
of marriage but about a possible romance that has fallen apart.
Blake’s poem seems...
... middle of paper ...
...at if they
stay together their love will never die.
In Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ there is also
use of hyperbole. For example in the last line she says
‘I shall but love thee better after death’
Barrett Browning uses the hyperbole to show romantic love. The love
is so strong in this poem it can almost become unrequited love as she
almost idolizes this person. Barrett Browning tries to measure her
love for this man. The use of repetition of ‘I love thee’ may give a
tedious tone to this poem but it really emphasizes her point. As her
love in this poem is so large to explain she compares it to situations
showing strength or other emotions such as joy, but even sadness is
involved from the reference of tears. I think this shows that all her
life and after goes into this kind of love not just the good times and
it is hard work.
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