Poem Research

Letting go of something one holds dear has always been difficult. Whether it is for a short goodbye or a more permanent parting, it is never easy to express the emotions one feels at that moment, let alone transform it onto paper. Alfred, Lord Tennyson writes a poem entitled “Break, Break, Break”, suggesting a theme of loss and heartache; Anne Bronte writes a poem called “Farewell”, which shares the same emotions and central theme as Tennyson’s poem. In both of these poems the speakers reflect on heartbreak through excellent lyrical techniques but have very different ways of relaying how they handle heartbreak to the reader.

In Tennyson’s “Break, Break, Break”, he mourns the loss of someone important to him, shown in the third stanza “But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand, And the sound of a voice that is still! ”. Tennyson is angered not only by this loss but by the fact that nature continues it’s cruel course with blatant disregard to the narrator’s loss, as seen in the first stanza “Break, break, break, On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me”. Anne Bronte uses the same phrasing in her first stanza when she states “Farewell to thee! ut not farewell To all my fondest thoughts of thee”. Both speakers suffer apparent heartbreak but deal with it in different ways. Tennyson mourns his loss and his anger overpowers him to hate even nature, whereas Bronte continues to cherish the person that was lost such as in stanzas for and five “That laughing eye, whose sunny beam My memory would not cherish less;- And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam Nor mortal language can express”. The fact that the author’s genders differ makes a huge difference in the way they compose poetry, particularly with the theme of heartache.

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Anne Bronte, being a female, tends to show more emotion and feelings in her poem; whereas Lord Tennyson, being a male, shares an attitude in his poem of aggression and anger. This gender difference may be one of the most considerable things to look at when the contrasting and comparing these two poems. When considering some of the writing techniques, both speakers also use the same words to show a burst of emotion. When they both start a sentence with the word “O” they almost seem as if they are shouting out for another chance with their lost accomplice.

Although the authors choose to write about heartbreak, it is easy to notice the differences in their writing styles. The fact that one is a male and one is a female plays only one major role in the differences of these two poems. One poems lack of emotion and the others lack of aggression is also one way these poems differ from each other. Tennyson’s cold and indifferent attitude toward nature is just his revenge for nature being cold and indifferent to his loss. Bronte on the other hand is joyous for the time she spent with her lost character and tries to replace her tears with smiles and anguish with joy.

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