Poetry Comparison: Balad, Shall I Compare Thee, First Love

Poetry Comparison: Balad, Shall I Compare Thee, First Love


What is Love?
This has been one of the most difficult questions for the mankind. Hundreds of years have passed by, relationships have bloomed and so has love. But no one can give a proper definition to love. To some Love is friendship set on fire? Others may think love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it? No matter how you define it or feel it, love is the eternal truth in the history of mankind.

The first poem that I am going to be describing is ‘Ballad’, written by an anonymous writer. Ballad poems are narrative poems, as these poems don’t just express feelings, they also tell a story. This Ballad talks about a negative experience of love and its consequences. A young girl was used by her lover, who was unfaithful and abandoned her once he found out she was pregnant. This girl lives in poverty, after she was evilly abandoned with a baby in her hands and lost her job as a maid. She’s depressed, and can’t see any future for either her or her baby. She thinks where suicide is the only option for both her and her baby. The writer creates a lot of death imagery.

The second poem that I am going to be comparing and contrasting is ‘First Love’ written by John Clare (1793-1864). ‘First Love’ is again, a poem describing a negative love experience. This poem however is not a narrative poem. The poem describes love at first sight; the poet uses powerful emotions to describe in detail how he felt when he fell in love. There is a strong contrast between the first couple of verses and the last. In the very first verses, the poet describes how he felt when he first noticed the girl he fell in love with, and the last verse shows how he felt when he realised his love was not being returned, and how it left him devastated.

Finally the last poem, ‘Shall I compare thee?’ written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is dissimilar to the other two poems....

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