Analyzing a Poem
A poem is an arrangement of words, which expresses thoughts or feelings, which have meaning and are musical. It can be easily indentified by its musical and literal elements, which are common to all poems. A poem can be analyzed by the use of stylistic devices. These stylistic devices are the use of imageries, metaphors, symbols, similes, alterations and many others. The use of characters can also be used to analyze a poem where different character traits of a different character in the poem are analyzed. Lastly, the use of themes can be used to analyze a poem. A poem can have more than one theme.
Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Where Shall the Lover Rest” is a very sad poem of somebody, a he, who has been separated from his lover because of death. The person is in the state of moaning due to his huge loss. He is describing of how he used to love her and how she has left a big gap in he life. “Where Shall the Lover Rest” the writer is asking himself a question and he is worried because of where the lover would rest since they have been separated from one another (Scott 25). It can also mean that if this is how he feels what about her, will she be able to rest. He is showing how concerned he is about her departed lover. It also shows that he still cares for her lover despite of her being dead.
Lord Byron poem, “When we two are parted” is also a very sad poem, which is talking about a person who has been also separated from his lover by death. He is showing affection of how it has been as he is having cold nights, “the dew of the morning sank chill on my brow.” (Scott 25). He is also showing how he used to love her by the use of this affection. He hopes to meet her in future. “After long years, how should I greet thee?” (Appelbaum 136) shows that the lover is longing for that day when they will meet again.
The two poems can be seen clearly that they have used the same theme. The writers have used several themes in their poems. One of the themes used by the writers is the theme of love. In both of the poems, the writers have shown how the separation of loved ones can make the others feel. In the poem by Scott, he uses words like, “here shall the lover rest,” (Scott 25). This shows that she was her lover and that he is caring enough to choose where his lover would rest. On the other hand, in the poem by Byron, he uses words like, “in secret we met,” (Appelbaum 136). They are used to describe how the two lovers met each other. Additionally, it shows a lot of love for each other he is even of the long ago times of how they met.
Another theme that has been used is the theme of death. Both the poems indicate that death has occurred and talk about how the lovers are taking it. In addition, the poems have shown how death has affected the two lovers like in the poem by Scott; the lover is moaning and thinking about his loved one and how she is doing in the other world. It is also the same in the other poem by Byron where the lover is thinking of how she is going to cope with the situation. This shows that both lovers have been affected by death deeply and they even care for their loved ones after death. In addition, the poems have shown that death has not prevented them on loving and caring for their loved ones.
The other main theme, which is the same in the two poems, is the theme of sadness. The two poems are so sad because they are talking about a loved one who has died and left the other. We are shown how the one who has been left is in a sad mood moaning the death of the departed one and how he is feeling that he has left. In the poem by Scott, we can see this where he says that, “never again to wake never o never” (Scott 25). This means that he is sad that his loved one will never wake up again and she has gone forever. In the other poem by Byron, we can see how the lover is feeling since the loved one died and left this world. He says, “In secret we met in silence I grieve” (Appelbaum 136). This shows that he is sad and alone, grieving due to her death. In the two poems, we can say that the two characters are in the mood of sadness since they have been left by their loved ones due to death.
The two poems have used different stylistic devices to show the feelings of sadness and love. One of the styles that have been used in comparison of the two poems is imagery. Imagery can be defined as those words used in a poem that make the reader to visualize the images. In the poem by Walter, he has used imagery to try to make the reader try to visualize what the character of the poem is feeling. A good example is, “where groves deep and high sounds the far billow” (Scott 25). Words like deep and high or far can make the reader to visualize as he is reading the poem. In the other poem by Byron, he used images to show how he feels since they were separated from one another by death. For example, he states, “The dew of the morning sank chill on my brow” (Appelbaum 136). It shows how he feels since his loved one has died. Words like dew and chill are making the reader of the poem to visualize what the character in the poem is feeling due to the death of his loved one.
Another style that has been used is the use of metaphors. It can be defined as when a comparative is used without the use of comparative term like, than or like. In the poem by Sir Walter, Scott uses metaphors to show his sadness, “His warm blood the wolf shall lap Ere life be parted” (Scott 25). This does not mean there is literally a wolf but it is used to mean of how she has died and left him. On the other poem, the writer has used metaphors to show how he has missed his loved one and what the sadness has made him to feel. “Pale grew thy cheek and cold, colder thy kiss,” (Appelbaum 136). This does not mean that his cheek became pale or the kisses became colder, he is only trying to show how he felt about her loved one after she died.
The poems also contain a lot of symbolism in them. Symbolism is the use of something, which is in its original form but to mean of something else, which is not the same. In the first poem by Scott, the phrase ‘cool streams’ has been used to show his feelings towards the death of a loved one. It does not literary mean of the cool streams they are experiencing but it shows how he feels about his loved one who will never come again. In the other poem, Byron has used the phrase ‘dew of the morning’. These words in the poem do not literary talk about the morning dew but are used to show how the widower is feeling due to the loss of his loved one. Therefore, it can be said that both the poems have used good symbols, which almost depict the same meaning from the poems.
The characters used in these poems are almost the same. The two poems have used have one character. The characters in the two poems can be said to be in a sad mood due to the death of their loved ones. The two characters can be said to love each other. We can clearly see this when one character, in the poem by Scott, is in a sad mood because he used to love the deceased and he has shown this by grieving and saying of how she never ever came back again. The other character, in the poem by Byron, is showing how he feels for his loved one and how he is heart broken since his loved one died. The morning chills always remind him of how he felt about the deceased.
The characters are also caring. They still care for the loved ones despite the fact that they are dead. The first character, in the poem by Scott shows that he cares for her where it is stated that, “here shall the lover rest” (Scott 25). This means that he stills cares for his lover to an extent that he chooses a good resting place for her. He cares for her well being and comfort even after she has died (Scott 25). The other character in the other poem is also caring and he shows this when he thinks of how his lover is fairing in even after death. He is even going further by saying of what will happen after they meet in long years. This shows that he stills cares for her. Therefore, we can say that the two characters are still in love with their lovers who have died and they still care for them despite of them being dead.
Appelbaum, Stanley. English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology. Mineola, NY. Courier Dover Publications, 1996. Print.
Scott, Walter. A Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on the Most Entertaining Subjects: Reign of King James. Philadelphia, PA: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1809. Print.