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How Do Both Poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ‘Sonnet 29’ And Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Voice’, Convey The Tone Of Loss?

1225 words - 5 pages

How do both poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ‘Sonnet 29’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Voice’, convey the tone of loss?

In ‘Sonnet 29’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay, loss is a strong underlying theme, referred to generously throughout the poem. This poem has the form of a Shakespearian sonnet which is thought to have meant to challenge her readers’ preconceptions about life. The first ovctave has strong themes of the loss of love while in the last sestet after the volta she is more accepting of this loss.
In the third line, Millay compares love to “beauties passed away”, which is a personification referring to the humiliation of love. ‘Passed away’ could also be a euphemism for death, as death ...view middle of the document...

Depite blaming her lover, in line nine she chooses to accept her personal loss of love “This I have known always: Love is no more”, implying that she thinks that the natural pattern of love is for it to fade away. Millay compares love to a “wide blossom which the wind assails”. The wind represents her lovers and the blosson represents love so this is a symbolic metaphor for the assault which love suffers from, from her lovers. The wind is personified to try to destroy the blossom showing that Millay has a blame towards her lovers for ruining her love.
Four lines from the end, Millay refers to the “shifting shore” which may represent the constant fluctuations of love and relationships. “Shifting” has a slight element of assonance to “Strewing” which is intended to shift the mood.
‘Sonnet 29’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay has a recurring theme of loss from the first few lines until the end. Within the first four lines the themes are the loss of dignity of love, and the love of control with love. From line five to line eight, the loss of power and love is addressed when compared to the moonlight’s decreasing power. Within the last six lines (in the sestet), Millay accepts her loss and the emotional and mental consequences which it inspires. This poem is about the loss of a living partner who Millay is determined not to feel loss over but in the end, her true emotions come through.

‘The Voice’ by Thomas Hardy is a poem with four stanzas which use the second person perspective to address a deceased woman he has lost. Alike ‘Sonnet 29’ this poem also contains themes of loss and love as it addresses Hardy’s deceased wife Emma and his emotions towards her, with whom, he shared a complicated relationship. Throughout this poem, the sentence structure is irregular and the sentences often travel further than the end of a line in a prosaic fashion. This enjambment gives the sense that these comments are simply his thoughts which gives an honest and thoughtful tone to the poem. This poem uses a dactylic tetrameter which emphasizes particular syllables and adds a tone which can emphasize the confusion of how to feel over this loss. This, the sentence structure, and the lyrical value of the ryhming phrases reinforce the idea that this poem is an eloquent journey of Hardy’s thought processes around this loss.
In stanza one, the syntax is quite intricate...

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