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Poetry allows poets to give form to experience and feelings which are difficult to put into words Essay

I agree with this statement. Poetry has a number of advantages to make it a more fulfilling way of expressing one’s feelings. Rather than plain words such as that in stories, poets can use poetic techniques such as language, rhythm, rhyme and cadence to convey feelings, which possibly cannot be expressed in words, by their very use in the poem. A poem such as Christina Rossetti’s “Remember” is widely acknowledged as proof for such a statement. The most obvious example is the reversal of sentiment from the beginning to the end of the poem.

This gives form to transformation of selfish to self-less feelings often expressed by people when they know they are going to either leave a particular place or leave this world all together. First we selfishly wish that everyone remember us, we dislike the idea that the world will carry on without us and the only way we can commemorate ourselves is via the memories of those who have loved us; on closer reflection these feelings often turn around, and we begin to consider that while we are dead, people will suffer as a result of mourning are death and wish that this not be the case.

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Even explaining the purpose of this technique had taken many sentences, let alone words, whereas in ‘Remember’ these feelings are expressed in the form of the poetry, the feelings are revealed without needing to be worded. Rosetti explores these feelings in further depth through paradoxes throughout the poem. For example “forget… smile”(line 13) “remember… sad”(line 14. ) Again, without expressing it in words she is able to convey the apparent contradiction in happiness in forgetfulness and sadness in remembrance.

She is also successful in expressing or merely suggesting more personal beliefs. We know that the poem was written within the first half of her engagement to James Collinson. However, the tone of the poem is gloomy. Later in the poem we see further possible suggestions that she feels uneasy about her relationship; again without actually using words to express them. “You tell me of the future you planned” (line 6) There is an underlying hostility here that is reinforced earlier in the poem in line 3 where she says “When you can no more hold me by the hand. The feeling is expressed through the language but not written directly and conclusively to portray them.

She also is capable in expressing her own religious beliefs and her piety through the language she uses; in line 11 she refers t the world as being full of “darkness and corruption. ” Even the repetition of the word ‘Remember’ is successful in emphasizing the true weight of the poem. She also uses enjambment; this is successful in portraying how her feelings may be mixed, but the clear form and structure show a certainty which could almost be interpreted as contentment.

Again, all these feelings are shown and conveyed without needing to be spelled out and portrayed more accurately that could be described in a plain description for example. Another poem that proves the title statement is Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach. ” The first stanza is used to set the scene and portray the mood of the poem. The first two lines describe elements such as the ‘sea'(line 1) and the ‘tide’ (line 2), which we know to be very powerful and thus portray a feeling of intimidation.

This is likely to be representing the poets feelings of calm, beauty but still remaining very much in awe of what he is seeing The length of the lines of the poem start shorter then become longer, then become shorter again to symbolize the relentless sounds of the waves going to and fro. The sense that we can feel the motion of the sea helps to enhance the meaning. Towards the end of the stanza, there are a mix of sounds such as ‘fling’ (line 10) which emphasises the harshness of the waves crashing against the pebbles by its sharp sound.

Although the first stanza sets the scene, it also introduces us to one of the central themes of the poem through the personification used in line 6: “Come to the window, sweet is the night-air. ” The second stanza explores universal, rather than personal themes. This represents how the powerful elements can overwhelm us and make us feel quite insignificant. Although the second stanza continues the tide like feel, the second verse, via its impersonal nature, emphasises a feeling of impermanence and coming and going. The third stanza acts as an antidote to the feelings of fear created in previous stanzas.

It speaks of a “Sea of Faith”(line21) covering the earth’s shore symbolizing a blanket to keep the world safe and secure. The theme of sea and water is continued, again, via he arrangement of longer and gradually shorter lines and via metaphors such as in line 22: “The Sea of Faith/Was once, too, at the full”: to symbolize a full tide. However, this feeling of safety is contrasted at the end of the stanza, symbolizing the uncertainty of the elements, again through a metaphor:” And the naked shingles of the world”: these naked shingles when uncovered are vulnerable as we are with no protection against the elements.

The third stanza shows the true weight of the poem. We see that the poem is actually of a very personal nature and the theme of the sea and the elements is used to portray his feelings of intimidation at the prospect of his love, vulnerability as a result of the uncontrollable nature of love and his fears of impermanence. He uses powerful negatives such as “darkling plain” (line 35) and “swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight” to emphasize his feelings of futility.

Again this is in keeping with the idea of the elements as to a large extent we are under their control and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves. In the same way this also signifies his feelings of uselessness in the hands of his feelings of love as he can do nothing about them and will never be completely in control of his destiny. As I have shown, the majority of the most important themes and feelings of these two poems are most often expressed without words and it is the unspoken meanings which are the most powerful.

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