help with a level english comparision work

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if anyone has any tips that'd be great cause i'm failing and have a massive class, so teachers won't independantly give advice (didn't write the question down, but was summin like this)

question - Compare how ‘wintering’ and one other poem from the anthology explore love

‘Rapture’ and ‘Wintering’ explore the complexity or romance in a similar format; in both love is considered something that can change within a relationship, therefore both the good and bad are incorporated into both poems. This contrasts traditional love poems, which Duffy is often known to do in her work, with the anthology ‘rapture’ itself disagreeing with choices often made by poets and seemingly exploring the way a relationship changes overall through the order of poems, starting with ‘You’ and ending with ‘over’, indicating the poems are deliberately ordered to mirror a relationship.

Duffy uses natural imagery in both these poems, although she does so in a non traditional sense. In ‘wintering’ she describes how ‘dawn mocks me with a gibberish of words’, which directly differs from the popular idea, specifically in poetry, of birds as a symbol of romance. This choice indicates for the speaker even the symbol of love has been ruined because of her loss. The birds now speak ‘gibberish’, so she can not communicate with the language of love. The personification of dawn that ‘mocks’ her also disrupts natural imagery in relation to love. This indicates nature is deliberately harming her, which is a repeated choice she makes in her phrasing, also describing how ‘night clenches’ and ‘stars begin their lies’. Nature in the first eight stanzas is followed by aggressive verbs showing she feels as though traditional love is out to get her.

In contrast natural imagery in ‘Rapture’ isn’t shown in such a negative light. The same imagery of birds is used, but instead of doing something directly negative they ‘sing in the shelter of a tree’. Although this may appear to follow a more traditional use of natural imagery in nature, with the context of the poem them sitting actually has negative connotations. The first eight lines show a relationship that isn’t moving. The speaker says ‘nothing will shift’ indicating though the relationship isn’t doing badly it still feels stuck. The birds represent that feeling of being stuck. They represent love, but only sing from ‘the shelter of a tree’, indicating they’re love stays in the same spot. This still differs from ‘wintering’ though because the birds are not actively acting in a way that harms someone, so love is not considered damaging in ‘rapture’.

‘Wintering’ uses the extended metaphor of the seasons and weather to represent the change in a relationship. Winter is considered a season surrounded by death and darkness and at the start of the poem the relationship is seemingly dead. The poem starts with the line ‘slow funerals have ploughed the rain’. The death imagery sets the tone of the poem as negative and draws a connection between the weather and death. ‘Funerals’ indicate their relationship is dead, similarly to how winter is surrounded by death. The metaphor of seasons is turned into something more positive as the poem progresses, though. ‘Then something shifts’, related to a literal change in the seasons, but metaphorically the shift in a relationship. After that shift more lively imagery is used. ‘The soil blurts green’ and ‘flower kiss’ show a more positive side to the relationship and their correlation with seasons associated with life, like spring.

In contrast ‘Rapture’ doesn’t use an extended metaphor of seasons, but there's a semantic field of weather. ‘Rapture’ uses one change in weather to represent the shift in a relationship. This indicates the shift in the relationship in ‘Rapture’ is smaller and more common than the one in ‘Wintering’ which is a bigger event in the relationship. ‘Above the prayer of blue, unacered rain’ shows the relationship in ‘rapture’ always had hope even when going through a negative spot. This reflects the attitude implied by ‘the moon, a fingernail, bitten and frayed’ in ‘Wintering’. The moon will never completely disappear, so even when it’s at its smallest point as suggested here it’s always on the verge of coming back to a full moon. Both texts explore how bad times in a relationship are necessary for the relationship to grow. When the relationship changes to a more positive tone in ‘Rapture’ the weather is described as ‘heaven after rain’. This change in the way the weather is personified shows that change in relationship. There is also a change in the perspective of the positive at the start and end of the poem, as ‘unacered blue’ suggests the sky in always the same, which has an overwhelming and boring indicated, which juxtaposes the line ‘huge skies’ because now the sky is contained, so the relationship is no longer the same.

Structurally ‘Rapture’ is devised in a sonnet format, with each line being iambic pentameter. Sonnets are typically love poems, but initially in the poem it isn’t clear whether it is a love poem. Although there are indications it is, there also is an existential aspect to it, where Duffy explores how love relates to life and death. This later changes, when the tone becomes more positive, and begins to fit the archetype of a love poem more, with abstract nouns relating to love, such as ‘desire and passion’ being used more frequently. The choice of the sonnet format suggests regardless of how the relationship presents itself it will always be centred around love. Even though you can’t tell if it’s a love poem or not at first you can assume it is because it’s written as a sonnet and no matter what is said that will always be the case.

Iambic pentameter is also used in ‘wintering’, but it’s not a sonnet as between each line is a four syllable line. These four syllable lines all have negative connotations, apart from the final line ‘your flower kiss’. The breakup of the sonnet format by these negative lines, indicates love is disturbed by negative and contrasts the indication in ‘Rapture’ that love is always there regardless of the state of the relationship. This doesn’t necessarily have only negative connotations in ‘wintering’ though as the final line is positive, suggesting that although the fragility of love may seem to break relationships at times it works to bring people together.
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