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A comparison of Four Years by Pamela Gillilian and Funeral Blues by W H Auden Essay

In this essay I am writing about is a comparison of love and loss in both of the poems, Four Years (by Pamela Gillian) and Funeral Blues (by W.H. Auden). I will write of such things such as whether or not the poets were selfish, if they used abstract nouns (something that you talk about which isn’t physical, e.g. love, hate, etc) or concrete nouns (something which is physical, e.g. smell, listen, etc) in the poems and what their poems mean. I intend to make sense of the poems and see whether or not, what Gillilan writes is crazy and if Auden has wrote the impossible.

In ‘Four Years’ the poem, to me, seems to be about a death of a loved one. I read the poem, and to me, it seems to me that two lines in the poem sum up the poem and, I quote, it says ‘Nothing left. There will never be…’ etc. She also writes about how she keeps certain things, and gets rid of other things, e.g. she gets rid of his shirts in a jumble, but keeps things like hard crescents of his fingernails.

In ‘Funeral Blues’, the poem seems to be more about frustration by Auden as his gay partner (I think) died. His four verses sum up as:

1) Everything should stop to mourn for him.

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2) Everyone should show respect for his death.

3) A description of what the loved one meant.

4) The world should be demolished now.

These demands show the narrator’s state worsening. The poem is emotional and personal for the poet, but his last demands are selfish. This is his general expression of grief.

Gillilian doesn’t use rhyming couplets (two lines which rhyme together), but she does use concrete nouns only, like when she writes ‘The smell of him went soon’ and ‘Between the folds of a curtain, Or the covers of a book, I touch, A flake of his skin’. (The concrete nouns are underlined). Gillian’s poem is about what she was left with when her loved one died, and what she done with his belongings. She got rid of all his clothes, but kept the small things about him as sentimental value, e.g. hair on his comb, an eyelash, etc, etc. this shows Gillilian cared more about her loved one than the clothes he wore and things like that.

Auden’s poem uses rhyming couplets. This shows that he had to think about what he was writing about. All in all, it was the poet’s general expression of grief. Auden uses concrete nouns as demands, e.g. (his last verse),

‘The stars are not wanted now: put out everyone;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

For nothing now could ever come to any good.’

(The concrete nouns are underlined). For Auden to write all this impossible things, it shows that he his lost without his love.

In his third verse of ‘Funeral Blues’, he writes the a description of what his gay partner meant to him, as well as why I thought he was lost without him:

‘He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song:

I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.’

As you can see, that is why I think he was lost. I particularly think the last two lines of the poem sum up the poem. These two poets show us that they thought the world of their loved ones.

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A comparison of Four Years by Pamela Gillilian and Funeral Blues by W H Auden. (2017, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://primetimeessay.com/comparison-four-years-pamela-gillilian-funeral-blues-w-h-auden/

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