Both poems ‘Hour’ and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ present the power time has between two people. ‘Hour’ is a poem about two lovers who have one hour together and explores the ideas of material possesions and a modern reinterpretation of love. Where as ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is a poem where the man is trying to convince the woman to sleep with him and exploring the idea of living and enjoying your life whilst your young. Both of the poems use different types of poetic techniques to depict how time can effect the relationship of two lovers.
In ‘Hour’ Duffy uses a metaphor at the start of the poem to allude how love has less power than time. When Duffy announces ‘Love’s time’s beggar, but even a single hour,/bright as a dropped coin, makes love rich. ‘ we see a twist of notion, like every second is like an hour creating a paradox. Duffy also uses refereces to two fairytales, Rumpelstiltskin and King Midas. When Duffy declares ‘the Midas light/turning your limbs to gold. ‘ Duffy portrays a slightly sinister tone almost giving the reader a message to becareful what you wish for just like in the fairytale of King Midas.
When Duffy announces at the end of the poem ‘love spins gold, gold, gold from straw’ Duffy refers to the story of Rumpelstlitskin and could be trying to warn her partner of the commitments they may make or perhaps could be telling her readers to have a reality check once in a while because sometimes you may feel like your relationship and the love you share will be forever and extrodinary but time will always shorten or take it away. On the other hand ‘To His Coy Mistress’ opens with and idea of if the two lovers had enough time they would do great things.
When Marvell announces ‘Had we but world enough, and time/This coyness, Lady, were no crime,’ he gives the reader an idea of spending all the time in the world with his lover, if they had all the time in the world. When Marvell uses the adjective ‘coyness’ to describe his lover he is saying that his lover’s shyness is a crime and she shouldn’t be so shy but maybe a bit more laid back. Marvell also uses personification of an evil force when he uses the alternate rhyming of ‘time’ and ‘crime’ to portray that the evil force is taking them away.
Also when Marvell announces ‘Two hundred to adore each breast;/but thirty thousand to the rest’ he shows that he would spend alot of time admiring her so she would be ready to give him her heart which reals back to the idea if they had all the time in the world but they don’t. Both of the poems use different types of imagery to portray what type of love each couple have for one another. In ‘Hour’ Duffy uses alot of light and dark imagery.
When Duffy announces ‘so nothing dark will end our shining hour’ this is a reference to light imagery and she uses this metaphor to say that the couple should enjoy the hour they have. Also Duffy uses alot of concrete nouns in the next stanza such as ‘candle’, ‘chandelier’ and ‘spotlight’ to create the image that nothing is as beautiful as where they are and the hour that they have. However in ‘To His Coy Mistress’ Marvell uses very grotesque imagery to show what will happen to the lovers because of time.
Marvell announces ‘My echoing song; then worms shall try/That long preserved virginity’ alluding the grotesque imagery and telling his lover that if she does not lose her virginity then she will die a virgin and would not have enjoyed life as much. Also when Marvell announces ‘My echoing song’ he depicts the love that both of the lovers used to have or perhaps could suggest that they used to share a romance and now have came back to find eachother again to consumate their love. Both poets use different structures to depict their love for one another.
In ‘Hour’ Duffy uses four stanza’s that describe how precious and luxurious that one hour is to the couple. Throughout the poem Duffy uses enjambment to create a smooth feeling of the hour that the couple is sharing. When Duffy declares ‘no jewel hold a candle to the cuckoo spit/hungfrom the blade of grass at your ear’ this alludes the enjambment but also Duffy is trying to say that even jewels aren’t as beautiful as the place they are in suggesting society’s modern reinterpretation of love.
Whereas ‘To His Coy Mistress’ has three longer stanza’s inituating a well developed argument to declare all the reasons why the mistress should give herself to the man. Marvell does not use enjambment like ‘Hour’ however does use conjunctions to develop it’s argument At the start of stanza two Marvell announces ‘But at my back I always hear/Time’s winged chariot hurrying near’ he starts the stanza with the conjuction ‘But’ which shows the conjuction. Also Marvell personifies time as a robber taking time away from the two lovers and starts to present slightly bleack image of the time they have to spend together. In conclusion I think that both poems relate well to eacother and give the readers also something to relate to. For instintance in ‘Hour’ audiences can relate because time has maybe taken away their partner or how much time they spend with eathother and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ however can relate to people only wanting to live in the moment and not being in a relationship. Although they are set out differentley and talk about different things they both both present the idea of how powerful time is and how it can be taken for granted.
Courtney from Study Moose
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