We have studied 3 poems. They were all written in different stages / periods of time. The older poems are very male dominated, and the general theme/message is that you expect the man to come out on top. In the later one, it makes out there is no difference within the two sexes. The oldest one is the beggar woman that was written in the 17th century by William king. The second oldest is Porphrias lover that was written in the 19th century by Robert Browning. The most recent of the trio is valentine that was written in the 20th century by Carol Ann Duffy.
The beggar women
This poem is an old fashioned poem written in the 19the century. It is about a woman, that is very poor and weak social and financially. As she is begging, she is approached by a man who socially and financially is at the other end of the spectrum. He is described in the poem as a gentleman and the basic feeling is that he is supposed to act like it. He approaches this beggar, who as stated in the poem, is obviously good looking and tries hard to keep clean. This is proven as it says her cheeks are fresh and that her linen was clean. Which means, although she is poor, and very rough, she tries hard to keep clean.
The story is told by a narrator, who is not involved in the story at all. Throughout the poem, it seems as if, the women is doing what she is told, and doesn’t dare rebel against this man who almost gives a relation of master and slave. The slave, which is obviously the beggar woman, is given orders and she dose exactly what she is told to do.
The gentleman is very rich, very well dressed and very respected. He tries to get away from the other people he is with which means he is respected and has a reputation that he doesn’t want to ruin. Also, he classes what he is doing as a game and nothing serious really, as it says in the poem, another game in view. This means, he doesn’t think that having sex with this women, actually almost raping her, is much of an issue at all. This proves that love throughout time has changed. When this was written, the man owned the women and she was his property. It also hints at that this gentleman has played this game before.
During the poem it builds up that this man is going to do what he intends. But at the end, the woman leaves him on his own looking foolish, but adding to this, she leaves him with her baby. There is a strong moral in this poem. That whatever you do, you’ve got to face the consequences. This makes you feel happy for the women and makes her as if she is a hero that carries on the style of a hero/villain.
The Rhyme scheme is rhyming couplets that are very simple that add up to it being quite light hearted and funny. The rhythm is very basic and has a simple structure. 10 beats in a line.
The poem is quite a funny one as slightly goes against the basic patter of that men being the dominant sex. It is a strong poem and is very good to read and is quite easy to follow.
This poem is quite different. Firstly, it is told by the person who is committing the murder and is told in a quite positive way. As if she wanted it to happen, and it wasn’t against her will. The beggar woman is told in a negative view, and supports the women whilst going against the gentleman. This poem is an original old fashioned poem. It is dominated by males and women seem to be lower than the men.
Porphyria is a beautiful, rich and posh woman who has fallen in love with this man who is of a lower class to her. She is beautiful as it says she makes the cottage warm which means that she is a beautiful person. Warmth is almost a symbol of love and means she is very good looking. She is very high class as it says from pride, which means that she is very proud of were she is and doesn’t want to change it and is very loyal.
The man is of a lower class, it says from pride and vainer ties dissever, which means that she is of higher class and doesn’t want to set herself free to him. The man seems very possessive; he doesn’t want to show her any attention and doesn’t even want to look at her. He wants her to be totally his. Which also follows the trend of old fashioned culture. The poem is told in a very easy laid back rhythm and it seems at first glance that nothing major is going to happen.
The fact that Porphyria is killed makes you think that it’s a bit strange and it should be told in a more drastic major note, and not minor, negative note as it is told in. The poem emphasises the fact that in those days, women were property and didn’t mean so much to anyone at all. Now it’s changed and women are treated equally. My reaction to this poem was very strange. You would think the man would notice this woman and not strangle her on her own hair. It’s rather horrific and terrible but mostly, it is very unexpected.
This poem is the most recent of the three. It is quite recent and is how love is treated today.
This poem is rejecting the common aspect of love which is giving roses and cards. It does this because it says that they are used by everyone and mean very little if anything. The main metaphor in this poem is the onion. It describes the onion as a very loving thing. It says that it means quite a lot and if it is looked into quite deeply and thinks extensively it means very much to the person who it is given to.
For example, it says that it will make you cry, like a lover will, but onions make you cry from the odour that comes of them whilst a lover makes you cry because of the power of emissions shown between the two people. It says that its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring. This indicates a similarity between the two. Onions peel in circular round layers like a wedding ring. It also tries to give across that this onion can somehow make a relationship stronger like a wedding ring ties a couple together permanently.
The repetition of the word take it means that this person is constantly trying to give this onion and the other person is constantly not accepting it, almost rejecting it. It is a bit chatty as, as soon as the person rejects it the other person, is describing it more and trying to make it a good thing and force it to them. This makes it into a bit of a conversation. This poem has no rhythm or rhyme at all and is just totally random!
My reaction to this poem is very strange. An onion is not something you would naturally give and you had to read it extensively to understand it’s true meaning and after you have read the poem, you realise it is very good and the actual meaning of it is very strong and powerful.