H.G Auden

Compare and contrast they way Auden and Tennyson explore loss in their poetry

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) was an English-born poet who was considered to be   among the greatest literary figures of the 20th century. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, (1809 – 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during a large part   of Queen Victoria's reign; he remains one of the formost poets in the English language. Both of these accomplished poets are associated with loss and calamity. They   examine the subject of death and mourning in a completely different way. In the poem “Funeral Blues”, Auden writes with an extremely bitter interpretation of hopelessness and eternal sadness as a result of losing a loved one. The poem composed by Tennyson called “Break, Break, Break” conveys the fact that nature does not cease to mourn the loss of anybody; it connotes bereavement and irrecoverable loss. Both of these poems were inspired by their own personal loss which makes it more compelling. Auden and Tennyson use similar techniques to explore and create touching and poignant poems. Despite that, they also differ from each other in the way they comprehend death.   In this essay, I will analyse the techniques used in their poetry and compare and contrast the content which creates such a unique, deep and distinguished piece of poetry.

The title of Auden’s poem immediately grabs your attention with an imperative, “Stop all the clocks…” The clock being stopped may signify the fact that he who died has run out of time and also the world should pause and reflect on his lover’s life in peace. In this case, the imperative comes across as a strong feeling of displeasure and anger. In Tennyson’s poem, it begins with a strong intensity and desperation. In the title “Break, Break, Break” has a similar effect because it is also and imperative and Break is also considered as an onomatopoeia. The title opens with an apostrophe to create three heavy beats, this shows that the poet can barely articulate...