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Sonnet 18 and Crikey Essay

Poets express ideas and feelings about love in different and powerful ways.

Love is expressed in the poems Sonnet 18 by Shakespeare and Crikey by Cilla McQueen through ideas of eternal beauty and being overwhelmed by love; and the feelings of excitement and longing for the preservation of the love conveyed.

To determine the accuracy of the statement ‘poets express ideas and feeling about love in different ways’ the two poems that are being analysed firstly need to be compared. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 uses iambic pentameter to develop a beat at which the poem is spoken where as Cilla McQueen’s Crikey uses no beat but runs as if it was being spoken in a conversation. It also uses colloquial language and Shakespeare uses more formal language however there is a significant time between when the poems where written. Both of the poems use versions of a volta around the middle of the poems to indicate a change in tone or idea. The statement is somewhat accurate as the poems have some common techniques that are used to express their ideas.

Shakespeare uses comparison to express the love he feels in Sonnet 18. He starts off by asking a rhetorical question to outline the theme of the poem ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ as Shakespeare compares her to summer he realises the faults it has. Personification is used to describe the faults of the sun ‘sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often his gold complexion dimmed.’ This shows that the sun can be too hot or covered by cloud. This technique is effective as it is as if he was comparing her to a real person that can be related to. At the end of the first eight lines of the poem a metaphor is used to relate natural aging to the sails of a boat ‘and every fair from fair sometime declines, by chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.’ This technique is effective because to change the course of a boat the sails must be trimmed but the poem is saying that nature doesn’t change and everything must age eventually. Shakespeare’s use of comparison shows that he is trying to find a powerful way of expressing his love through the poem.

The volta brings about change in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 that in turn expresses his true feelings of love. The sestet reveals that she is not at all like a summer’s day because her ‘eternal summer shall not fade’ and she will never grow old. Personification is also used to describe death and how she will never wander in the shadow of death; she will continue to grow within the poems lines. The repetition of the word eternal emphasises her everlasting beauty and life that is conveyed in the poem. The rhyming couplet at the end explains how every time the sonnet is read it is as if she comes back to life along with his feelings for her.

The language techniques in Crikey by Cilla McQueen convey the excitement felt when in love. Enjambment in the poem replicates the feeling of excitement as her thoughts pour out all at once. ‘ In sugar & spice god you’re nice’ has connotations to the poem “sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of.” This shows that she feels like she is young and in love again, this is also added to by the rhyming of ‘spice’ and ‘nice’. The cumulative simile in the poem, ‘I feel like a morning a kiss…tunnel of love’ enhances the imagery of the poem by listing the different emotions she feels. ‘Crikey’ indicates a change in the poem and acts similarly to a volta. After the colloquial volta Cilla McQueen uses a list of actions she is doing as if she were trying to distract herself. These techniques display an affective method of expressing feelings of love.

Cilla McQueen expresses her emotions by using the shape and positioning of words. ‘I’m in love with you…. your eyes your hand’ the positioning of the words reflects what her eyes are doing and her movement. This is effective as it shows the connection between the two people. Towards the end of the poem she describes a caterpillar slowly drifting sown from a tree. The shape is effective as it uses short lines to move your eyes smoothly down the page as if you were watching the caterpillar yourself. In short the use of shapes in the poem is very powerful way of indicating her love.

It is proven that poets do express ideas of eternal beauty and being overwhelmed by love; and the feelings of excitement and longing for the preservation of the love conveyed in different and powerful ways, as seen in the poems Sonnet 18 and Crikey by Shakespeare and Cilla McQueen.


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