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Sparrow and Rose - Critical analysis

Uploaded by Admin on Mar 30, 2002

In this essay I intend to look at two poems: Sparrow by Thom Gunn and Rose by Walter de la Mare. I will analyse each poem in terms of their tone, treatment, subject and verse technique and then compare them to see if there are any significant similarities or differences between them. Both poems are examples of lyric poetry. The main features of lyric poetry are strong emotional feeling and extensive use of imagery. Lyric poetry covers everything from hymns, lullabies, and folk songs to the huge variety of love songs and poems. The content of lyric poetry is as varied as the concerns of people in every period and in every part of the world.

Attitude and manner were the distinctive aspects of 20th century poetry. Gunn felt that to sentimentalise was to diminish the meaning within a poem. His poem Sparrow completely exemplifies this opinion and the overall style of 20th century poetry. It is written as a speech from a homeless beggar and it gives the reader an outlook on his life. The title of the poem is the nickname of the beggar, Sparrow. Gunn is using a nature comparison by comparing the beggar to the bird; he perhaps feels that sparrows are scavengers and are as helpless as the beggar is. It could also be because living on the streets means the beggar is close to nature. The poem is structured into seven stanzas, each with four lines. This is quite a simple structure, which could serve to represent the intellect of the beggar. The first stanza stands out on the page, as it is slightly indented and also has a different rhyme scheme to the rest of the poem (a, a, b, b). This has the effect of drawing the reader's attention to it and making it seem more significant than the other stanzas. Its tone differs from that of the other stanzas in the poem, as it acts as a soliloquy; it is the cry of the beggar. Gunn uses the repetition of "change Sir" to create emphasis and add to the desperation of the tone. Using 'Sir' to address the person he is pleading to, suggests that Sparrow is polite and respectful, which allows the reader to sympathise with him more. If he were being aggressive the reader would feel that he deserved to be homeless and ultimately would not be moved by the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   03/30/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   11 pages (2,463 words)

Views:   1729

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