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I am going to compare two poems "Only the wall" by Matthew Sweeney and
"Mirror" by Sylvia Plath. Both poems are similar as they both use
personification. The poem "Only the wall" has the wall, which is
personified as the wall is seeing what is happening, but cannot tell
anyone. The poem "Mirror" has the mirror, which is personified, as the
poem shows what the mirror sees.
The poem mirror is about a mirror and a woman who is obsessed with the
mirror. The mirror says it does not lie it just tells the truth.
"I am not cruel only truthful"
This tells you the mirror does not lie it shows the truth even though
it might hurt and that it cannot judge how someone looks.
In the second stanza the mirror begins to feel sorry for the woman.
"I see her back and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears
and an agnation of the hands."
This tells you how the mirror sees the woman's ugly face everyday and
how the mirror sees the woman upset with the way she looks. The mirror
is also upset, as it does not mean to upset her, but it can only show
The mood of the poem is sad.
"In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman rises
towards her day after day, like a terrible fish."
This tells how sad she is especially when she goes to the mirror and
sees how her beauty has died away.
The way the poem has been structured is the first stanza is about the
mirror and the second stanza is about the woman.
The poet's idea is trying to make us think about how people care so
much about how they look.
"I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning her face
replaces the darkness."
This tells us that the woman is maybe upset with the way she looks and
how the mirror is really important because she wishes that she could
be young and pretty again.
Overall I think this poem was sad as it made me feel sorry for the
woman. Also at first I found it hard to understand.
The second poem has a different subject to the first poem. The first
poem is about a woman looking in the mirror and the second poem is
about a wall watching three bullies bullying a boy. For example:
"The first day only the wall saw the bully trip the new boy"
This line tells us that on the new boys fist day only the wall saw
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The second poem has a similar mood to the first poem. For example:
"Only the wall heard the name he called, a name that would stick like
This suggested that the new boy probably is getting bullied an
obviously is upset about it. In the fist poem the woman is upset by
the way she looks.
In the second poem the poet uses a good technique of personification
just like the first poem, except in the first poem the mirror was
personified and in the second poem the wall is personified. For
"The fourth day only the wall missed the new boy through five bullies
looked for him"
This line shows that the wall sees what happens to the boy everyday.
In the second poem, the poem has been structured so that the first and
second line in each stanza says what day it is and what the wall sees
whereas in the first poem it has been structured with two stanzas. For
"The second day the wall didn't see"
This tells you what day it is and what the wall sees.
In the second poem the poets main idea is that the wall sees
everything the bullies do but cannot tell anyone because the wall
"The wall felt three bullies lean against it, ready to ambush the new
This tells us how the wall felt sorry for the boy and wished he could
Overall I found this poem interesting because it was upsetting by the
way the wall saw what the bullies were doing but could not do anything