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Love Poems Essay, Research Paper


poems are a way of expressing sexual or loving feelings through words. Love poems are almost always romantic but as

we will see, this is not the case for all of them. I

will be analysing and comparing three different love poems: ?The Seduction? by

Eileen Mc Auley, ?To his Coy Mistress? by Andrew Marvell and ?The Flea by John

Dunne. Many

regard these poems as amongst the best ever written so I think that this should

be an interesting topic and look forward to researching it. The

man in ?To His Coy Mistress? strikes me as being a very sleazy, desperate,

lonely, old man. The

poem is about a man who is trying to persuade his mistress to sleep with

him.? The first stanza starts off with

the man hinting of his desires with his mistress.? He creates beautiful scenes to make himself seem more romantic

and desirable to his mistress: ?To

walk and pass our long love?s day.? Thou

by the Indian Ganges side shouldest rubies find?.? Whenever

the man says, ?I would love you ten years before the flood?, I think

that he is trying to emphasise that he has loved her ever since the time of

Noah? Ark and always will.? This is a

deep and very useful example of hyperbole being used by the poet to help the

man get the point across about the amount he loves his mistress.Marvell again uses hyperbole as we approach the end of

the first stanza whenever he begins talking about his mistress? body.? He uses gross exaggeration when he says: ?A hundred years should come to praise thine eyes, and on

thy forehead gaze.? Two hundred years

adore each breast, but thirty thousand to the rest.?Throughout the entire first stanza enjambment is evident

and I feel that he uses this to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the

poem.? I feel that this stanza is

basically euphemistic as the man is using fancy words and phrases instead of

just asking the woman to sleep with him.The second stanza is short and starts off seriously with

the man telling his mistress that they will both die quite soon and life is

short and thus this may be the only chance she has to lose her virginity.The mood of the poem changes totally whenever the man

over-steps the line and makes a sick, morbid remark: ?The worms shall try that long preserved virginity, and

your quaint honour turns to dust.?This perverse attempt by the man to persuade the young

innocent girl to sleep with him before it is too late and she takes her

virginity to the grave where she loses it to the worms.? He is trying to let the woman know she will

keep her dignity and maidenhead as long as she has sex with him.? Although this is a sickening thought it

seems to be a powerful, persuasive argument.The description of the grave as a ?fine place? shows the

desperation of the man in question.When he goes on to say: ?…But none, I think, do there embrace.? I think that the poet expects us to start feeling sorry

for the man now.? We are then met with

the smart simile; ?Now let us sport us while we may, and now, like amorous

birds of prey??Almost immediately after this simile we come across the

first and only example of assonance in the entire poem, when the man says: ?Let us roll all our strength, and all our sweetness, up

into one ball.? This was implying that the two of them become one in the

ceremony of sexual intercourse instead of being singular and apart from each

other.These final lines are one last gasp attempt to her to let

him fulfil his wish and persuade his ?target? to sleep with him.? I

am not sure why, but I get the impression that by the end of the poem the

mistress is ready to ?give in? to the man.?

This theory is due to the brighter atmosphere, which develops after the

second verse. The

structure of the poem varies, in that the second and third verses are

relatively short compared to the first verse. The

mood of the poem is inconsistent as it contradicts itself between the start and

end of the poem but overall it is quite an intricate and nice atmosphere as the

protagonist spends most of his time comparing the woman to beautiful,

picturesque locations. Despite

my disliking of ?Old English? and love poems in general, I must say that I did,

in fact, enjoy analysing this poem as it helped me understand the language used

several hundred years ago and gave us an insight into this man?s mind. In contrast to ?To His Coy Mistress? this poem was

written quite recently (1980) by Eileen Mc Auley. The

poem is basically about a young woman who is taken advantage of whenever she is

drunk.? She goes on to have a baby and

is forced to raise it herself whenever everyone else abandons her and she loses

her childhood. The

introductory stanza sets the scene in a ?run down? part of Merseyside.? A metaphor is used as early as the first

stanza; ?far from the blind windows of the tower blocks.? Straight

away we can sense that the atmosphere of the poem is dark and uneasy and we can

get the impression that something is going to go wrong. In

the second verse we get can sense cheapness and superficiality: ?Leather

jacket creaking madly.?? We

get the gist of the poem whenever we find out that he male who she is with

hands her a bottle of vodka and calls her a ?little slag.? We

learn of the girl?s naivety and innocence and we feel sorry for her as the

alcohol consumes her and she is rendered helpless. ?She had nodded, quite

enchanted? supports this theory. The

opening line of verse four is, I feel, the most powerful and meaningful line in

the entire poem: ?As

he bought her more drinks, so she fell in love.? Also in this stanza there is

the first evidence of sexual contact when he ?stroked her neck and thighs? We

find out about the boy and his background in the fifth stanza: ?I?ll

take you to the river where I spend the afternoons, when I should be at school,

or eating me dinner.? Where I go, by myself,

with me dad?s magazines and fill a bag with shimmering sweet paint thinner.? Ad

the language in this is very broad and modern the remainder of the scene

basically tells of his hard upbringing and plans for the future. The

overall language used in the poem is a lot more up to date and modern than ?To

His Coy Mistress,? which makes it easier to understand and relate to?and to

analyse. Mc

Auley drops some subtle hints to describe the atmosphere at the time, ?she

followed him there,? which suggests curiosity and also: ? the frightening scum

on the water? which contradicts the happy, innocence of the previous statement. The

mood of the poem progresses to become even darker and we sense that our earlier

prediction that something bad was going to happen nears when the line, ? the

Mersey, green, like a sceptic wound? is delivered. We

learn that the girl has been seduced when it turns out that the boy?s breath

smells of mouthwash, suggesting that he was not even drunk.? This raises the emotions and angers the

readers and thus the poet has been successful in creating a tense atmosphere. There

is a massive change in scenery by the beginning of the second half of the poem

starting from stanza number nine and we indirectly learn that she is pregnant

when it says: ?When

she discovered she was three months gone.? We

witness the leaving of childhood and the introduction to adulthood when she

rips her ?My Guy? and ?Jackie photo-comics? from her wall. The

girl realises the enormity of her mistake and begins to ask herself questions

angrily and rhetorically, ?Where

now, is the summer of my sixteenth year?? and, ?Where

are all the day trips to Blackpool, jumping all the rides?? A

powerful line which could put all teenage girls off having un-protected sex

came in the third last stanza, ?So she cried that she had missed all the

innocence around her.? Again

the mood changes as we enter the final two verses and we leave the sorrowful

stage and enter the aggressive stage. Mc Auley uses sarcasm to emphasise the

anger expressed by the mother-to-be: ?But

then again to be smoking scented drugs or festering, invisibly unemployed.? Better to destroy your life in modern,

man-made ways, than fall into this feminine void.? Better to starve yourself, like a sick precious child, than to

walk through town with a belly, huge and ripe.?

And better now to turn away, move away, fade away, than to have the

neighbours whisper, ?You always looked the type.?? ? Through

these last two stanzas we can see cast amounts of anger and regret expressed

and we finally hear the girl?s real feelings. Overall

I think that this is a brilliant poem and is very well written but I must say

that, I feel, that this is a very biased, one sided, sexist view.? After all, ?it takes two to tango? and all

the blame cannot be placed on the male.?

In fact it was as much the girl?s fault seeing as she got drunk in the

first place. Although

I did enjoy this poem I do feel that it is rather sad and morbid to be labelled

a ?love poem? and to be honest I must admit that I preferred ?To His Coy

Mistress? as the writer/poet uses a lot more hyperbole and oxymoron etc. to

express thoughts and views and this is why I would support Andrew Marvel over

Eileen Mc Auley. (Analysis


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