Anne Bradstreet and John Donne lived and created their works in a contemporary age, an age filled with unrest. In my opinion, just under this background, they wrote beautiful poetry of similar and individual characteristics. Anne’s To My Dear and Loving Husband and John’s A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning are two typical examples to prove my idea.
It is obvious that the themes of Anne’s To My Dear and Loving Husband and John’s A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning are the same-that is the love between the wife and the husband. In the former poem, we can easily find out the Anne’s purpose of expressing her love to her dear husband from the poem’s title–To My Dear and Loving Husband. Then, after reading the latter one, it can be analysed that John’s theme of this poem is also about love, the affection for his wife.
II. Technique of Expression
Although both of these two poems are written in short paragraphs, they convey the authors’ deepest love towards their companions vividly. That’s because, in these two poems, these two authors made good use of some kinds of rhetoric devices in order to convey their true feelings towards their mates in words. Anne and John used comparisons. They compare others’ love to the others’ mates with their love to their soul mates. For example, “If ever two were one then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, compare with me, ye women, if you can.” and “Dull sublunary lovers’ love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit absence…”. These poems fully demonstrate the authors’ feelings through comparison.
Besides the similar features of these two poems, there still exists some difference between them.
Ways of Expression:
Ways of expression used in these two poems can be summarized up into following aspects. First of all, gender affect their remarked styles. Anne is a women writer( women are always more emotional and sensitive than men, so that Anne showed her love to her husband in a quite direct way ), but John is a men one( men are rational and reasonable than women, which leads to John’s more implicit writing style). In the former poem, Anne expresses her love to her dear husband directly, however, John delivers his love to his wife more implicitly than Anne. Another different point is that they are rhymed in different rules. Anne’s poem rhymed aa bb cc de ff ggwhile John’s rhymed abab cdcd cece dede fcfg hehe bibi ejej ekek. At last, the images are different in these two poems. John used moving of the earth and twin compasses to convey his moral and lasting love to his wife. Anne used riches and rivers to show her deep and ardent love to her husband.
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