Poems about love can be some of the most powerful and intense poems to read. The poets use many different ways, for example, similes, metaphors and imagery to express feelings and emotions, which are often very passionate in love poems. However, not all these poems are about love in a positive attitude, some show feelings of anger, pain, and sadness.
“Meeting at Night” is a poem about taking risks for love. It starts with a journey, and a sense of secrecy, and romance. The person is sailing across a “grey sea” to a “warm sea-scented beach” at night. The sea is used to describe the intense emotion that he or she is feeling, and in a sense, this person is overcoming this emotion and rowing towards the land of love. When this person arrives at the beach they travel to a small farmhouse, and they “tap at the pane”.
Normally, somebody would knock on the door, but this way of letting the other person know that they are there is more secretive and intimate. It’s as if to say, “You know who it is, I’ve arrived.” Once the two people meet, “the two hearts beating each to each”, there is a feel of love and excitement. We stereotype this journey as a man travelling to meet a woman, but it could just as easily be the other way round. “Meeting at Night” is also a poem that gets us guessing. It gives us a starting point, and invites us to make up our own story, about why these two people might be meeting so secretly.
“To his coy mistress” by Andrew Marvell is a seduction poem in which Marvell uses his assumptions regarding the female ego, to try and get a woman. He assumes she is vein, easily scared and easily aroused. It is also a type of ” carpe diem” (seize the day) poem. He says that they should seize the say and have sex now rather then wait until they are married, but the truth of it is, he doesn’t want to get married any way! The poem can be divided into three main parts. In the first, he is being kind, soft and gentle. He compliments his mistress and says that he would spend years admiring her beauty, if he had the time.
” An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze.
Two hundred to adore each breast:
But thirty thousand to the rest.”
However, in the second part, he is saying how they don’t have all this time, and that if they don’t act today, it will be too late. He tries to scare her, asking her if she would rather loose her virginity to worms when she is dead, then loose it to him now. In the third part, he gets straight to the point. He tells her how sex with him will unbelievable and fantastic, and that she would be stupid to miss out on an opportunity like this. Today the poem might seem sexist in its attitude towards women, but if we look beyond the limited perspective, we can see that Marvell is also making a statement about how all of us should savour the pleasures of the moment.
“Porphyria’s lover” is a poem that conveys a different approach to the concept of love. The poem starts in a secluded cottage at night, and although there is a physical storm outside, there is also one inside the speaker’s head. The storm symbolises his mental illness and the turmoil he is feeling in side. When Porphyria appears, she calms the storm in his head. In symbolic terms, when she enters the cottage and makes it warm, she relaxes him, calms his mind and makes him feel at ease. The speaker relates a frightening description about the overwhelming love he has. He has such a deep, mad infatuation with Porphyria, he is able to admire her every move with detail.
“At last I knew she worshiped me”, the speaker was happy, he had gotten all that he desired from her. Porphyria’s beauty, pride and conceit however, prevented her from completely loving him. The speaker realizes this and is overcome by his passion and desire to be her only lover. The moment before he strangles her, their love was perfect, pure and good. He is deluded because he feels that killing Porphyria is the right thing to do. He is so mentally ill, he cannot see what is happening around him. He believes that when he killed her she felt no pain, but she must of. He is so in love with her that he can’t let her go, even once she is dead. He lies there all night, holding her and he feels no shame or guilt for what he has done. He is so insecure he thinks that killing her is the only way to stop her from leaving him.
“Villegiature” is a poem with a funny, unexpected ending. It is very real to many modern day relationships and although tragic, extremely typical to what we as a society have become-obsessed with work, forgetting about what is really important in life. The speaker in the poem is having a dream of a man she once knew, and probably loved very much. The man though, is very far away and obsessed with books so much that he doesn’t notice her and doesn’t care about her. However, in the dream, this man climbs threw her window and kisses her. It is very romantic and she is lost in the fantasy of the moment almost forgetting that she does not love this man anymore. As soon as the ghost leaves, she remembers how he used to treat her, and how boring he was.
The ghost of the man is a wish fulfilment dream and the kissing is very symbolic. The kiss is where emotion meets sex. It is emotional and erotic. It is saying, in a way, that sometimes we meet people who we feel strongly about at first, but when we get to know them, we realise that they are not what we expected, so we leave them. After a while we begin to remember all the good things we liked about them. We forget about the way they treated us, or the things they did, or did not do and feel like we want them back. It is not until we really think about it, that we remember exactly what they were like.
The environment can be a huge source of inspiration for poets as it is all around us. The people we see, the sounds we hear, all reflect our everyday life. Poems about people and the environment can also be very unique, as different people see the same thing in different ways. Poems about the environment also show how we as people behave and respect, or even disrespect, the things around us.
“The Badger” is a poem that suggests a role reversal, whereby the humans behave in a cowardly and uncivilized way, while the badger displays courage and dignity. The people in the town go out looking for trouble for fun. They hunt down the badger and chase it out of its home for no real reason. They have nothing to fear from it, yet they still believe it is ok to hurt a helpless animal. Even though there are more of them, and they completely have the upper hand they still feel they have to terrorise the badger and even go as far as to kick it when it’s down. Injuring an animal, which in no way can possibly defend itself, is not only wrong but also very cowardly. In a way, this poem can be related to the way English football fans act abroad. They go out looking for trouble and creating violence just for fun.
“The Snake” is a poem that is very mystical and magical. At the start of the poem, the snake is introduced not by direct contact, but only by the feeling that someone/thing is around. Many people fear Snakes and there are many different reasons why, but most people who fear snakes have never even come into contact with them. Many cannot even explain why they fear them so much. I think that many people fear snakes because they are seen as mythical creatures. In the past, they have always been referred to as evil, such as in the bible, the snake is said to be Satan, or one of his followers in disguise. Our society has been “tricked” into believing that these animals really are evil and dangerous when really, we have nothing to fear from them. In the poem, the snake just slowly and quietly moves past the speaker without taking any notice of her, or showing any aggression, yet she is still scared.
“But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.”
“The song of the shirt” is a poem about degrading circumstances. Human dignity is often pushed aside. Throughout history women have been exploited against, both at home and the work place, and this is an example of it. The poem describes a woman who works non-stop. She is tired all the time, and despite all her hard work, she still lives in poverty and hunger. In a few lines of the poem, it really describes the pain and anger the women is feeling. “O men! With Mothers and Wives! / It is not linen you’re wearing out, / but human creatures’ lives!” We don’t often realize when we wear clothes where they have come from, or who made them, but that line shows us that every time we buy a product that has come from circumstances like the ones in the poem, we are keeping the torture for these people going. Someone would have to work for Nike for 45,000 years, just to earn as much as Michael Jordan did in 1991 for advertising alone.
“The Ballad Of Reading Gaol” is a poem about death row, and a sadistic and twisted way of doing things. A man was arrested for being gay, which in itself is totally wrong, and not only was this man arrested because of his sexuality, he was going to be killed for it too. The wardens watched his every movement and he was even escorted by two guards during exercise. The only reason for this was because they did not want him to kill himself. They would not allow this man to kill himself and at least keep his dignity, because they wanted the satisfaction of doing it themselves. If they really just wanted the man dead, they would not mind how it happened and they would do it as soon as possible, but they wanted to feel powerful. They wanted the man to know that they had control over his life; they chose when he died and how he died. They wanted to feel proud of themselves, but how can anyone possibly be proud of killing someone who has not done anything wrong?
“With yawning mouth the yellow hole
Gaped for a living thing;
The very mud cried out for blood
To the thirsty asphalt ring;
And we knew that re one dawn grew fair
Some prisoner had to swing.”