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Essays on comparing two poems



Identify & introduce each piece and conclude with the thesis--the point you are making about the two pieces.

The Aesthetic Movement, as exemplified by пїЅThe Indian to His Love,пїЅ by W. B. Yeats, seems lifeless and insipid when compared to his пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe.пїЅ The images of the two poems are so completely different that they almost demand a different set of rules dealing with their creation. It would be virtually impossible for Yeats to deal effectively with the subject matter of пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe" in the same manner as пїЅThe Indian to His LoveпїЅ because he is viewing the world from a different perspective for each poem.

Establish a point of comparison for each topic and then describe first one piece and then the other to support the point. In short essays, both parts may be in one paragraph. In longer essays, the topics can be separated into two paragraphs. Use transitional phrases to separate the two parts of a topic (in contrast to, on the other hand, etc.).

There is little relationship between the characters of пїЅThe Indian to His LoveпїЅ and those of пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe.пїЅ In the former, Yeats deals exclusively with mortals, idealized perhaps, but nonetheless mortals who must deal with the world as mortals: пїЅHere we will moor our lovely ship/ And wander ever with woven hands," and. "How we alone of mortals are." These characters are not only mortals, but are anonymous in that they have no personal identities, and there is no representation of them as individuals. The lovers seem to decorate the scene much as the "peahens" and the "parrot." Yeats does, however, remind the readers of the charactersпїЅ mortality even while he makes them seem timeless. пїЅHow when we die our shades will rove" tells clearly that those mortals may be in a dream, but even this dream is destined to end.

In пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe,пїЅ in contrast to пїЅThe Indian and His Love,пїЅ Yeats deals with the пїЅfaeriesпїЅ or пїЅlittle peopleпїЅ of Ireland: пїЅThe host is riding from Knocknarea" and "Coailte tossing his burning hair,/ And Niamh calling Away, come away." Here there are no insipid mortals, but beings and animals with names and emotions that are as immortal as they are:

Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound Our breasts are having, our eyes are agleam

These are descriptive, life-giving images, and Yeats chooses to portray his faeries as closer to reality than the mortals of пїЅThe Indian to His Love.пїЅ Yeats obviously wants the reader to identify with the faeries and to feel their passion rather than just to observe them.

Continue with additional points of comparison--usually at least three points are needed for a complete essay.

The settings of the two poems, like the characters, are totally different. In пїЅThe Indian to His Love,пїЅ Yeats makes no attempt to inject realism into his setting:

Clearly, this is a nameless imaginary island surrounded by imaginary seas. Yeats' descriptions are in flowery metaphoric terms, and all combine to lend a dreamlike quality to the poem.

In пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe,пїЅ on the other hand, there are none of the qualities of setting present in пїЅThe Indian to His Love.пїЅ Yeats tells the reader exactly where in Ireland the action takes place: пїЅThe host is riding from Knockarea/ And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare.пїЅ Yeats brings his poetry into the countryside of his people; and, even though his subjects are not real, except perhaps within the mind, they seem more rooted in reality than his hapless Indians.

Additionally, the depiction of action is different in the two poems. In пїЅThe Indian to his Love, пїЅ Yeats makes no attempt to suggest action beyond the most static activity: пїЅAnd wander ever with woven hands,/ Murmuring softly lip to lip.пїЅ Nothing moves; nothing betrays real life. There are no winds, no storms, and no passions on YeatsпїЅ island, only пїЅtranquility.пїЅ Yeats chooses every word carefully to reinforce this picture in the minds of the readers. He gives no glimpse of the changes he will make in later poems, including пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe.пїЅ

In пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe,пїЅ quite in contrast to пїЅThe Indian to His Love,пїЅ the entire poem suggests action: "The host is riding from Knocknarea" and "Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are agleam/ Our arms are weaving, our lips are apart." Here is a clear picture of Niamh on his fiery steed, rushing with purpose. Even nature is there in force: пїЅThe winds awaken, the leaves whirl round.пїЅ There is nothing within the poem that even remotely suggests peace and tranquility.

Conclude with a summary that reviews your main points and reiterates the thesis. Don't introduce new ideas into a conclusion.

Both пїЅThe Indian to His LoveпїЅ and пїЅThe Hosting of the SidheпїЅ are, in their own ways, expressing ideals, but ideals that are so different that they have need of a different language, and Yeats meets that need. In пїЅThe Indian to His Love,пїЅ Yeats presents the ideal of dreams: mortals in a make-believe world. He gives a pretty picture in words that is there to see, but it doesnпїЅt reach out. His words donпїЅt include the reader at all. On the other hand, in пїЅThe Hosting of the Sidhe,пїЅ Yeats presents the ideal of life: immortals in a real world. Yeats wants the reader to feel the life in this poem, not just observe it. The poem reaches out and coaxes: пїЅAway, come away:/ Empty your heart of its mortal dream.пїЅ The world Yeats sees in each poem is completely different, and by choosing his words carefully and changing his style of writing, he allows readers to see that difference and to feel it.

The host is riding from Knocknarea
And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare;
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.
The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round,
Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound,
Our breasts are heaving our eyes are agleam,
Our arms are waving our lips are apart;
And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.
The host is rushing 'twixt night and day,
And where is there hope or deed as fair?
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling Away, come away.

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