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Flashcards in Poetry - Analysis of poems Deck (31)
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Describe the context of the poem by William Blake ‘The Garden of Love’. 🌟

  • was a romantic poet = valued feelings, freedom + nature over organised religion
  • poem about returning to green where played as a boy
  • green now changed e.g. Chapel built, more graves, less flowers
  • he feared change, expressed through poem, also feared corrupting influences of institutions e.g. Monarchy, gov, church
  • was a dissenter: worshipped outside constraints of church, (although a Christian)
  • poem can be seen an allegory for ways in which Church of England in 18th cent controlled people’s actions, thoughts, + even love desires

Analyse the stanzas of the poem by William Blake ‘The Garden of Love’.


- bi + monosyllabic words set up story
- metre + rhyme contribute to simplicity
- bouncing iambic tetrametre + simple abcb rhyme, disurupted by evils of established church intruding
- ‘thou shalt not’ has harsh stresses + stands out in prominent centre position of poem = gives reader sense of things forbidden
- seems everything + anything we desire is denied
- transformation complete, has moved from Pastoral genre to Gothic
- what used to be green space is now grey + black
- gardens now graveyards, so joy now replaced by pain
- sound reinforces meaning = internal rhymes cluster in last 2 lines, mimicking binding taking place deep within speaker


Describe the context of the poem by John Wilmot ‘A Song (Absent from thee)’. 🌟

  • overall touchingly ambiguous poem🌟
  • reader feels affection he has for addressee + understands he realises stupidity of infidelity🌟
  • but ‘once more’ in final stanza = he knows own bad patterns of behaviour + is unlikely to change, so may fail to return to her, despite wanting to🌟
  • contrasting comforts of being faithful, to misery of being unfaithful🌟

Analyse the stanzas of the poem by John Wilmot ‘A Song (Absent from thee)’. 🌟


- violent Lang w/ separation from her🌟
- desires of infidelity presented as compulsive, he knows it’s wrong🌟
- safe imagery + faithfulness🌟
- passionate exclamation + conclusion from what’s stated in first
- continues earlier sense of straying as being irrational in calling his mind ‘fantastick’
- ‘torments’ will be result of his infidelities, they will ‘tear [his] heart from [his] love’
- slowed + sad sounds: alliterated W’s
- marked contrasts between miseries of infidelity + comforts of faithfulness🌟
- after previous romantic image of reunion w/ love, now returns to fears of infidelity🌟
- ‘lest’ (=in order not to), shows alternative life he will lead if fails to return to his love
- if he wanders from this ‘heav’n’, may ‘fall on some base heart unblest’ = conveys sense of sin, but also dangers of STI’s? 🌟
- harsh ‘f’ sounds = sense of self-loathing as almost curses himself at thought of being unfaithful🌟


Describe the context of the poem by Robert Burns ‘Song (Ae fond kiss)’.

  • Burns a much loved and famous Scottish poet
  • song written for Agnes ‘Nancy’ McLehose, cultivated lady separated from husband working in West Indies
  • Burns deeply in love w/ her + they corresponded daily for 2yrs
  • thought their relationship was unconsommated
  • Burns then heard Nancy was travelling to see husband in West Indies, who hoped for a reconciliation, so sent her this poem

Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Robert Burns ‘Song (Ae fond kiss)’.🌟


- ‘deep’ in tears which are ‘heart wrung’, voices depth of speakers love
- onomatopoeic ‘sighs and groans’ used + 3 part rhymes (‘I’ll pledge thee + I’ll wedge thee’ = sounds contributing to stanzas rich effects + proclaim ongoing affection for loved one
- despair reaches its nadir (low point), evoked through imagery of dark + light🌟
- loved one = ‘star of hope’ that has gone, leaving him w/ no ‘cheerful twinkle’ + only ‘dark despair’
- thoughts of loved one lift mood, from gloom to closer to celebration
- cluster of uses of words ‘love’ + ‘lov’d’ between two stanzas
- v heart of Poem (where love is)
- final thoughts for loved one’s wellbeing, wishes her all best
- then returns to thoughts of first stanza
- looks identical to first, but subtle diff of ‘alas, forever’ instead of ‘and then, forever’ in first🌟
- ‘and then’= at some point they’ll have to part but not yet, but ‘alas’= that time has come🌟
- cyclical effect of nothing having changed, but time to part moved closer, ‘alas’ adds additional sense of emotion by denoting another sigh


Analyse the rhythm of the poem by Robert Burns ‘Song (Ae fond kiss)’. 🌟

  • simple quatrains w/ aabb rhyme scheme
  • metre puts stress on first syllable of every line + ends each w/ unstressed syllable (known as feminine endings, lending poem a sad, falling rhythm)
  • this aided by feminine rhyme (rhymes made by unstressed syllables)
  • simple vocab, mostly monosyllabic, drawn primarily from a semantic field of sadness, helps give start of poem a gloomy mood. 🌟

Describe the context of the poem by Lord Byron ‘She Walks In Beauty’.

  • Byron said to been inspired to write poem after meeting beautiful woman called Mrs Wilmot at London party
  • said that on same night Mrs Wilmot was in mourning + wore black dress w/ silver sequins.

Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Lord Byron ‘She Walks In Beauty’.


- balances elements of dark and light
- ‘cloudless climes’ used to set off ‘starry skies’, ‘dark’ used to balance ‘bright’
- literary features to mimic balance = alliteration in ‘cloudless climes’ helps to contrast w/ ‘starry skies’
- formal regularity, rhymes regular throughout + steady iambic tetrametre creates regular up + down rhythm
- rhythm varies once: beginning w/ a stressed syllable on ‘Meet’ = draws attention to beauty of woman + allows regularity to seem more marked through variation
- religious lang to idealise woman spiritually + physically
- idea of ‘walking in beauty’ = unusual, but may mean walking in light of God


Describe / summarise the context / commentary of the poem by Christina Rossetti ‘Remember’. 🌟

  • addressing how she wants loved one to think of her when she dies, she is unwell + wants to be remembered by them
  • mood then shifts in last six lines to idea she would rather loved one forgot her than be saddened by memories of her
  • a Petrarchan sonnet exploring issues like love, death, memory + control in relationships🌟

Analyse the stanzas / octaves of the poem by Christina Rossetti ‘Remember’. 🌟


- seems insisted speaker be remembered, ‘remember’ repeated x 4
- fist line of each two quatrains in octave is a verb in imperative mood = commanding addressee to ‘remember’
- situation seems touching + moving, idea of life ending before its natural time + they cannot have their planned future
- melancholy mood w/ poems strong sense of religious belief
- afterlife presented as ‘silent land’ (rather than offering happiness) - a refuge from ‘darkness + corruption’ of world
- stanzaic form contributes to poems meaning
- each quatrain uses envelope rhyme = adds sense of looking back rather than forwards, central lines present gloomy vision of afterlife in which couple are separated🌟
- offers sense of time running out, once death comes = no more daily planning of future
- too late for thoughts of cures or divine intervention (‘to counsel then or pray’)
- marked Volta line 9 - poem turns to completely diff thought
- internal rhyme on ‘yet’ + ‘forget’ draws attention to shift of mood to uncertainty (if addressee should forget her for a while he shouldn’t grieve, he should forget + be happy)
- this seems loving + considerate thought at first glance, many read it as an optimistic + altruistic wish for her lover’s wellbeing after death, but could be more complex - why is life represented by darkness?
- this means we can consider alternative reading; addressee = subject of sentence + speaker = object in lines 3 + 6; maybe speaker constrained by addressee? Who makes her decisions + plans life for her?🌟
- this may make poem seem one in which a woman = trying to break free from control of a man. 🌟


Describe the context of the poem by Thomas Hardy ‘The Ruined Maid’.🌟

  • is Hardy’s comic take on idea of ‘fallen woman’ (one who has sex before marriage) = usually meant ruination for a Victorian woman
  • unclear whether character is a prostitute / mistress of a wealthy man
  • H uses her wealth + sophistication to satirise (mock / make fun of / critique something in a political manner) idea a woman is ruined by pre-marital sex
  • as women always mocked + shunned for affair outside wedlock but men let off ‘Scott-free’ + not judged, always women’s ‘fault’
  • AO4: men at liberty to pursue sexual desires w/out any ruination of themselves (can link this to being pursued in The Flea, To his Coy Mistress, The Scrutiny)
  • term ‘ruined’ = functions as running joke in poem, Hardy makes this idea become progressively more ridiculous, seems to have sympathy for women, is ahead of his time
  • lived in a Patriarchal Society - men more important - shown massively here through idea of only ruination for women
  • poem entertains through comedy

Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Thomas Hardy ‘The Ruined Maid’.🌟


- long lines bounce w/ predictable beat
- construction of each quatrain: 3 lines for countrywoman, then a line of comic reply from friend = establishes latter so reader knows when to expect a punchline
- comic contrast between speech of 2 characters, Hardy’s use of tone, accent + dialect all also noteworthy
- countrywoman draws attention to friends former use of archaic pronouns (e.g. ‘thee’ + ‘thou’) before exclaiming line 11
- ruined maid then replies w/ poise, fluency + concision in line 12
- concludes poem w/ countrywoman wishing for clothes, poise + looks counterpart now has, but denied them through friends words in line 24
- interesting considering that ruined maids speech comes closer to countrywoman’s here, helps imagine this sophisticated woman about town as field worker she once was
- primarily to amuse + entertain, but poem may too be read as direct + satirical attack on treatment of working class women in Victorian England, as seems only have two options: to be exploited through hard agricultural work / exploited for sex


Describe the context of the poem by Thomas Hardy ‘At an Inn’.🌟


- narration of speakers experience w/ addressee at Inn
- were not lovers, but staff assumed so, speaker considers reasons why love did not come to them + poem concludes w/ speaker reflecting on present situation of desiring to be together, but separated by distance + marriage to other partners
- black humour in poem; inn staff speculate about couple + take vicarious enjoyment in assumed sexual relationship (evidence in lines 5 + 15)
- this direct speech conveys excited, gossipy pleasure onlookers feel, but ironically conclusions are wrong
- inspired by Hardy’s relationship w/ aristocratic + literary Florence Hinneker, their growing friendship + her lovely interest led H to draw wrong conclusions about relationship
- H persuaded her to visit Winchester cathedral w/ him, + then took her to ‘The George’, despite inn staff thinking them lovers, Florence drew line at flirtation; as Christian beliefs meant H could never be more than a friend.


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Thomas Hardy ‘At an Inn’. 🌟


- warm + active lang
- despite exciting sympathy in others, love = not what couple experience (evidence line 19)
- poem turns cold + static: breath = ‘chilled’ + a buzzing fly = ‘palsied to death’
- Kiss inn staff expected ‘came not’ + ‘love lingered numb’
- is as though a cruel joke has been played as couple rendered insignificant by personification who toys w/ them for his ‘sport’
- contrasts between descriptions of imagined love + couple’s real experience (Lang of former = free flowing, easy, almost clichéd, as onlookers feel sympathy (line 10)
- alliteration, parallelism + fast even pace make emotions almost too easy to experience
- yet ceasura + ‘maybe’ at end of line 11 hint real life = not so straightforward
- lines 19 onwards are climax, or rather anti climax of story, ‘but’ = only or instead here
- end: has moved from comical tone of first as draws serious conclusions from story, much older, speaker reflects on diffs between appearances + realities, as couple looked in love long ago at inn, not weren’t, + now do not seem to be, but ache w/ love for eachother now
- speakers tone = more passionate w/ use of apostrophes + sentences that = grammatically an imperative but punctuated as an exclamatory


Describe the context of the poem by Ernest Dowson ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae’.


- speaker remembering w/ passion night when he had thought so former love (Cynara) whilst kissing another woman
- declares he’s been faithful to Cynara (in his own way, in his ‘fashion’, declared every stanza)
- describes physical feeling of closeness w/ woman (assumed a prostitute), but preoccupied w/ yearnings for Cynara
- even amongst wild ‘dancing’ + w/ ‘madder music + stronger wine’, still yearns for Cynara (can infer stronger + wilder + madder refer to other women, always looking to explore more from women)
- rich + emotional poem expressing an obsession w/ a lost love
- reader caught w/ intensity of first person narrative + given sense of speakers lustful + debauched lifestyle through fragmentary details e.g. ‘Kisses’ + ‘a warm heart’
- unclear whether loss of Cynara = consequence of riotous living, or if loss of her led to him adopting this way of life
- Dawson associated w/ decadent movement of late 1890s, decadence = falling into state of decay, but in relation to literature of 1890s = refers to several interlinked qualities e.g: valuing of artificiality over nature, transgressive modes of sexuality, + notion of intense refinement


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Ernest Dowson ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae’.

  • Lang = rhetorical + archaic, everything heightened
  • no attempt to be realistic, presents a powerful obsession for former lover, seems more interested in evoking feelings
  • archaic diction in ‘betwixt’ + ‘yesternight’ as well as inverted syntax helps give sense of gravitas
  • regular alexandrine (12 syllable lines in iambic hexameter) allow speaker to linger on emotion of every line
  • = a poem of excess (rarely does anything once)
  • so repetition could be most memorable literary feature in poem
  • another refrain used in 4th line of each stanza, but this varies subtly as poem progresses (unlike last line), is more emphasised w/ use of ‘am’ instead of ‘was’
  • idea of his faithfulness ‘in his fashion’ remains constant, yet his sickness + desolation grows worse - to point where = no longer memory of past, but a present condition
  • regularity also adds to poems impact; rhyme + metre bring sense of familiarity to reader as they experience wave of emotion

Analyse the structure and rhythm of the poem by Ernest Dowson ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae’.

  • each stanza = sestet, made of 2 tercets, each using envelope rhyme
  • this rhyme scheme draws attention to middle line (particularly case w/ fifth line of each stanza, also draws attention as is shorter - line of iambic pentameter (10 syllables of iambs), instead of an alexandrine
  • reader drawn to feeling evoked by penultimate line + idea of speaker being hungry for.. (line 23) lingers long after final refrain is read

Describe the context of the poem by John Keats ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ A ballad.


- speaker sees sickly looking knight + asks what’s wrong
- knight recounts story of how he met + fell in love w/ beautiful woman who = half human, half fairy.
- after day of love, woman sang him to sleep + he had terrible dream that saw pale kings + princes who told him the woman (‘title’) had him in her power
- he woke cold + alone on side of a hill, tells speaker this to explain why he looks unwell + wanders aimlessly
- poem = ballad (here a poetic retelling of folk tale about tragic incident rendered in vivid manner + usually in quatrains w/ rhyming 2nd + 4th lines)
- set in medieval times + uses direct speech to explore experience of Knight who saw lady that turned out to be more than what met the eye
- may seem fashionable piece of mock medieval balladry, but Keats may be using this genre to explore obsession / addiction
- ‘Kubla Khan’ allusion infers being under influence of drugs + how can be diff to deal w/ normal life after extreme highs (here high = life, idea of sex w/ an immortal reinforces this reading)
- also idea of crushing depression from abandonment by one who was loved intensely


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by John Keats ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ A Ballad.

  • first 3 quatrains establish setting; Autumn - transition season between summer + winter, this = appropriate for tale of transition from euphoria to despair in poem
  • at first glance, stanzas IV to VIII + first line of stanza IX seem to depict idyllic love (as knight meets beautiful woman, adorns her w/ flowers, places her on his horse + she gives him food, shelter + kisses)
  • BUT, closer reading uncovers supernatural + sexual subtexts (see booklet). Connotations of her elfish unpredictability, - also might suggest promise of wild sex, some say ‘fragrant zone’ not only denotes belt made of flowers, but also connotes female genitals, ‘sweet moan’ might support this reading
  • line 19 suggests sexual confidence + long hours she spent on Knights ‘pacing steed’, - maybe a metaphor for long sessions of sex
  • line 33 focuses on woman’s actions, as opposed to first three stanzas of Knights, which grow progressively more supernatural
  • food she feeds knight seems to be from another world + Lang she speaks = paradoxically ‘strange’ yet intelligible
  • mood swing to woman’s ‘cries + sighs sorely’ when knight is taken into her ‘elfin grot’ is not given an explanation, + remains a mystery after knight kisses her ‘wild wild eyes’ twice each, is then lulled to sleep by her, bringing on a terrifying nightmare
  • nightmare in stanzas X + XI: pallor of men in dream recounts pallor if knight in early poem, seems fate of these people = that of knight, through close up descriptions of these past victims
  • poem closes w/ a cyclical effect (as words from Knights perspective = almost identical to those of first) - gives reader sense of Knights entrapment: will be no progression from his sorry state

Describe the context of the poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt ‘Who so list to hount I knowe where us an hynde’.


- speaker tells whoever wants to hunt he knows whereabouts of a deer, his hunt = unsuccessful, yet compelled to continue
- changing his tack, advices anyone hunting for this deer wastes time + describes deer’s collar: in diamond letters written (see booklet)
- Wyatt credited as bringing sonnet form from Italy to England
- this poem retains two part structure of Petrarchan sonnets (an octave followed by a sestet)
- note Wyatt adapts sestet, making into a concluding coulplet
- also reverses normal structure of Petrarchan sonnet; as presents consequences of situation (unattainable love) in octave first, then sestet describes situation leading to those consequences
- Wyatt = a courtier + one of King Henry VIII’s intimates during time King + Anne Boleyn’s marriage was being arranged
- Wyatt imprisoned when Anne Boleyn was tried for adultery, was then released but many claim he + Anne were lovers
- poem often cited as evidence for this, being read as an allegory, where speaker = Wyatt: the hind, Anne Boleyn + Ceasar: King Henry VIII


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt ‘Who so list to hount I knowe where is an hynde’.

  • presents speaker’s vacillating feelings + evokes paradoxical desire that draws + defeats
  • first Line = hearty exhortation to other men to join his hunt, yet second contrasts as he feels unable to continue hunt
  • sense of world-weariness persists until 4th line when acknowledges he is of them that ‘furthest cometh behind’
  • shift in mood in 5th line back to what draws him to deer
  • sense of vacillation / wavering also aided by form: first quatrain makes envelope rhyme = enclosing of middle lines - makes them stand out + draws attention to suffering caused by desire
  • speakers feelings also suggested by aural effects: ‘f’ sounds accumulate to diff effects, in combination w/ short vowel sounds - suggests quick bounds of deer in line 6, + also emphasise fruitlessness of pursuit in line 7
  • line 7 disrupts iambic meter w/ a trochee at beginning: ‘FAYNting’ - underscores speaker’s faltering, then abandoned attempt to follow his desire
  • octave concludes w/ metaphor of futility in line 8
  • After line 10, Wyatt offers reader imagery associated w/ deer, instead of revealing feelings of speaker
  • inscription on collar = prominent
  • Instead of following usual rhyme scheme in sestet of Petrarchan sonnets, Wyatt concludes w/ a couplet which words’ stand out as new voice of poem - resonate in reader’s mind; lines 13 + 14
  • couplet offers conclusion while also consistent w/ vacillating quality throughout, by ending on a paradox
  • can ponder significance of ‘Wylde to hold’ - could imply owner’s power to punish anyone who dares touch her, or might suggest her promise of wild sex?

Describe the context of the poem by Shakespeare ‘Sonnet 116’.


- expresses qualities of ideal love, stressing its enduring nature
- real love does not change by circumstances, it = a constant, like a star guiding a ship, not subject to time, lasts until doomsday
- an English / Shakespearean sonnet, w/ 3 quatrains + a couplet
- part of sequence of 154 sonnets of Shakespeare’s in 1590s
- first 12 lines framed by allusions to marriage ceremony, lending a solemnity to subject of love, so poem remains popular reading at weddings today
- sonnets usually associated w/ love, but also a way to order thoughts about topics in Shakespeare’s time, e.g. Time + death
- helps structure of an English / Shakespearean sonnet: three quatrains + a couplet, to develop argument of two premises (statements)


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Shakespeare ‘Sonnet 116’.

  • each quatrain offers comment on nature of love in confident, declaratory tone
  • first quatrain concludes w/ declaration love isn’t true if wavers w/ changing circumstances
  • abstract Lang means reader can supply details
  • note paradoxical quality + repetitions of parts of same words in lines 2, 3 + 4
  • nature or love’s challenges remains undefined in second quatrain, but Shakespeare’s imagery grows more concrete as range of metaphors from seafaring characterise love as life’s guiding light
  • to take height of a star was to measure it’s altitude to be able to steer by it - this idea alluded to in line 8 (so like a star whose true worth is unknowable, love = mysterious force)
  • final quatrain shifts to characterise love in more grandiose terms = being unchangeable in face of time
  • love + time personified in line 9
  • shift in mood in couplet, poet reflects on what he’s written - serves to emphasise strength of convictions, but some feel this adds little more than a boastful challenge to reader

Describe the context of the poem by John Donne ‘The Flea’.


- speaker’s loved one has refused him sex, so he asks her to consider flea that bites them both - as shows how insignificant her refusal is - as believes their bodily fluids mixed inside it without shame or loss
- flea (where they have ‘had sex’) described as holy place, he begs her not to destroy
- he questions why she kills this innocent creature, but then claims its death proves how false her fears of sex w/ him are - as would cause no more harm than death of flea did
- poem = typical Donne love lyric + crape diem poem (sieze the day; here, in form of accepting his sexual desires)
- in early modern times, fleas more common in homes than today
- idea of flea sucking blood of both lovers had diff connotations to contemporary (at the time) readers, as they believed sperm + sexual secretions formed by body’s blood + so blood mingled during sex


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by John Donne ‘The Flea’.

  • poem’s form helps develop argument
  • each stanza has a sestet (of three couplets) + a triplet (lines of same rhyme)
  • speaker develops point clearly in sestet, using each couplet as building block for argument
  • first line of each couplet often enjambed or only has comma for punctuation, but second ends w/ more definite pause w/ punctuation (full stop / question mark / colon)
  • shift in argument at beginning of triplet - speaker extrapolates from what sestet proves
  • each line of final three rhymes adds subtle persuasiveness - this harmony + subtle shift in tone helps emphasise speakers point, also reinforced by final two lines being longer than others, so has two lines of iambic pentameter in poem of mostly iambic tetrameter

Describe the context of the poem by Andrew Marvell ‘To His Coy Mistress’.


- speaker says to apparent shy / modest loved one that if time was sufficient, he’d praise her beauty for thousands of years, but time = limited, so must make most of it physically, while she = young and he = full of desire
- poem shows influence of Donne + earlier metaphysical poets - as = witty + persuasive
- a carpe diem poem, like Flea, using force of logic to persuade woman to have sex
- follows structure of a syllogism (logical argument in 3 parts: two premises (statements / propositions) + a conclusion)


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Andrew Marvell ‘To His Coy Mistress’.

  • first premise (statement / proposition) states how long speaker would spend wooing addressee, durations grow as verse paragraph progresses
  • speaker’s tone = ambiguous, sincere praising of mistress / humorous, or even mocking?🌟
  • lines here = reminiscent of the blazon, poetic tradition of cataloguing women’s attractive features, often moving down her body (as here)🌟
  • maybe Marvell = mocking typical exaggeration of blazon by providing such an exaggerated example himself? 🌟
  • second premise: pace picks up, almost half size of first premise = states time is limited
  • personification of time as charioteer = common image from Greek Mythology, also a subjective sense of actually hearing time’s approach in lines 21 + 22
  • no sense love will endure behind grave, unlike other accounts of love
  • later images = macabre + gruesome: imagery of worms in lines 27 + 28 contrasts w/ earlier playful, phallic imagery where speaker’s love described as ‘vegetable’ - taking a long time to grow - read as a long slow erection? These maybe designed to shock addressee into acceding speaker’s wishes🌟
  • second premise ends w/ humour mocking her coyness w/ an epigrammatic flourish in lines 31 + 32
  • conclusion spelt out as final verse paragraph develops, cluster of words drawn from semantic field of time, ‘now’s + ‘at once’ give sense of urgency
  • aural effects suggest contrast e.g. Short vowel sounds (line 38) to long, drawn-out ‘l’ sounds (line 40)
  • poem lacks spirituality,but glories in physicality; gives visceral felling of coming of time, sense of decomposition coming w/ death + exhorts couple to behave like wild, dangerous animals at end
  • great vigour, even violence in Marvell’s depiction of sex (e.g. in lines 39 + 43)
  • effects of internal rhyme + repetition echo sense of mutuality + momentum
  • pace then slows w/ Marvell’s final thought in lines 45 + 46

Describe the context of the poem by Richard Lovelace ‘The Scrutiny’.🌟


- is morning + speaker + lover are mid argument after she questions him about his promise of monogamy, where he says keeping this vow = impossible
- he must seek out new women, + if after this she still = agreeable to him, he will return to her + assumes their relationship would be better than ever
- even title displays speaker’s attitudes to love
- he looks coldly + weighs up both addressee + his options
- poem begins in medias res (middle of action) - speaker verbally attacking addressee over a promise he supposedly made
- his haughty tone + quibbling language in line 1 = starting poem in selfish + arrogant manner
- word ‘lady’ may be pronounced ironically; can she be a lady if has jeopardised her reputation by sleeping w/ a rake like him? So cruelly distancing addressee verbally as speaker tries to extricate himself from her physically🌟


Analyse the stanzas of the poem by Richard Lovelace ‘The Scrutiny’.

  • seems speaker cannot escape quickly enough
  • cluster of temporal references seems more than selfish, sound insulting e.g. in lines 6 + 7, more or less admitting he has used her for sex
  • reduction of women to hair colours = sexist way in which some men used to refer to women, objectifies them
  • metaphor of mineralist searching for treasure underground elevates man + denigrates woman, as his promiscuity = raised to level of an art
  • like earlier love poems e.g. Donne’s ‘To His Mistress Going to Bed’, man = an active explorer + woman = passive land / ‘treasure’ waiting to be discovered
  • his comments about sexual adventures = self-aggrandizing; like a victor from battle, he’s been ‘crowned’ + won ‘spoils’
  • can be argued speaker might be suggesting he could be so worn out by adventures that may need to use her again - this time more for comfort than sex.

Name the different Aspects / Themes / Types of Love found across the Love Through the Ages Poems.🌟

Jealous love
Selfish love
Forbidden love
Romantic love
Unrequited love
Ending of love
Fidelity / infidelity
Religious themes
Sincere / genuine love
Idealised love
Unattainable love
The importance / value of love