English Literature - GCSE AQAWatch
I'm trying to make comparison notes between all of the Power and Conflict poems, any help on any of the poems appreciated! Thank you
Both poems use structure to draw our attention to their powerful feelings. In London there is a tight rhyming pattern ABAB and alongside the iambic tetrameter present in “I wander through each chartered street, near where the chartered Thames does flow “ reflects the sense of order and control that Blake is trying to criticise. The repetition of the verb “chartered” suggests a place that is ordinary and mapped out. However, at particular parts of the poem, for example, “blasts the new-born infants tear” some of the lines are in fact trochaic. This draws the readers focus to the dramatic, powerful verb “blasts” that connotes a violent scene that contrasts with the innocence of the “new-born”. Perhaps the change in rhythm could symbolise blakes attempt to break free from the conventions of society. This is similar to john Agard, where he uses little punctuation and lacks grammatical clarity to subvert convention that he did not want to learn. At the start of the poem Agard immediately begins confrontational –”dem tell me dem tell me wha dem want to tell me”. Not only is this defying the correct English grammar and spelling, but also he is using Jamaican colloquial dialect, to symbolise his pride of his background. The first lines are repeated (“dem tell me”) and the repetition of the monosybllic phrase and “dem” could suggest his anger towards “dem”. Also, the word “dem” portrays a dismissive tone and the collective pronoun could shoe that he believes that they (whoever they are) have no identity. Overall both poets use structure to draw our attention to their powerful feelings and attempt to break free from convention.
Both poets use sensory engagement to portray powerful feelings, however Blake uses a cacophony of sound whereas Agard uses light and vision, or in fact lack of vision. In London, the whole second stanza is full of sound imagery-”in every cry of every man, in ever infant’s cry of fear, in every voice, in every ban…”. The speaker hears very distressing noises that makes his experience seem hellish, vivid and depressing. The anaphora in this stanza (“in every”) depicts an immense misery that is pervasive and it also emphasises a feeling of bleakness-the despair effects everyone and there is no relief from it. The misery seems relentless and Blake has chosen to portray this to show the need for change and his anger towards this. Agard also evokes the senses but does this by using metaphors of vision and blindness. The quote “bandage up me eye with me own history blind me to me own identity” shows how he is angry- reinforced by the repetition of the harsh, closed sound “b”-about being alienated from his own past and identity. The words “bandage” and “blind” suggest he is both physically and psychologically wounded, perhaps due to this deliberate attempt to hide his history. Furthermore the image of “bandage” is ironic as bandages should aid healing but in this instance, they have caused the blindness. By evoking the senses, both poets are able to portray their anger towards their situation and also, they are able to further engage the reader to reinforce their powerful feelings.
Both poems conclude with a powerful image. Blake ends London with the oxymoron “marriage hearse”, this contrast links the happy image of marriage with death, he is combining love and desire with death and destruction. Contrasts are used to show how everything is effected by this pervasive