Watching Tennis and A Subaltern’s Love Song Essay

Watching Tennis and A Subaltern’s Love Song Essay

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Watching Tennis and A Subaltern’s Love Song

Introduction

The themes and ideas are so similar that if one was to briefly explain
what both poems were about, you would think that they were exactly the
same poems. Yet what really separates these two poems is their
technical side.

Form

The form of a poem can be mainly observed by looking at and listening
to the poem. Rhyme scheme, verse length, and line length are but a few
examples of a poem’s form.

A Subaltern’s Love song is a relatively long poem compared to Watching
Tennis. It contains eleven verses, each of four lines length. There
are between ten and thirteen syllables in each line. As this poem
tells us a story and has a regular rhyme scheme, it is a narrative and
can be classed as a ballad. It contains rhyming couplets which show a
sense of control and harmony.

Watching Tennis is a less orthodox poem. It is a Petrarchan sonnet,
containing fourteen lines. This type of sonnet is divided up into two
verses, one of length eight lines; the other of six. John Heath Stubbs
has divided these two verses in equal lengths again. This results in
both halves of the poem containing different verse lengths. The first
two verses contain four lines, whereas the last two verses contain
three lines. The rhyming scheme too is unorthodox. The rhyming scheme
is in the form ABAB for the first two verses and although the first
two verses rhyme in order, the last two don’t. This shows how the
author is trying to create an image of loss of control and harmony.

Style

Both poems have a very distinct style. A Subaltern’s Love Song has a
very strict and orthodox rhythm which emphasises the idea of how the
man gets closer and closer to his dream woman. The steady...


... middle of paper ...


... league. However, A Subaltern’s Love Song talks more in a
hopeful, jocular light. The man believes that the girl is in a
different league to him. He also talks in a very graceful, pleasant
and sweet way about the girl, “Speed of a swallow, Grace of a boy.” He
talks in less of a seductive sexy way as Heath-Stubbs does. “Your
mouth on mine found its silent need.” However, Heath-Stubbs also talks
about how the girl is graceful and delicate, “You move like a dancer,”

Conclusion

In conclusion, although both poems share very similar ideas and
themes, they differ on the technical side. A Subaltern’s Love Song is
written in a much more orthodox fashion than Watching Tennis. However,
one major concept which both poems share is that they both commence
with the idea of the man and woman in love with each other as
hopeless, and end with that idea a being hopeful.

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