Compare Love Poems Hour and Sonnet 43

Categories: PoemsPoetry

Both poems are about love. Hour presents love as being times enemy, whereas, Sonnet 43 presents love as absolute and unconditional. Both poets see love as being precious and worth more than life itself. Barrett Browning shows love as lasting forever, but Duffy feels that love can’t last forever. Sonnet 43 is an old fashioned poem; you can see this from the form. It uses iambic pentameter which creates the feeling of real speech, as though she is truly saying it to her husband.

By using the famous phrase “how do I love thee? by William Shakespeare, gives it that old traditional feel, also with it having many references to religion, such as ‘if God choose, faith and praise’, this makes the poem sound old fashioned as religion was very important to people back then. However, Hour is a very contemporary poem. It has three quatrains and is loosely based upon the Sonnet form, which links in with the fact that the poem is about love.

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Clues to it being more contemporary are that it uses a traditional fairy tale story (Rumplestiltskin) and turns it into a modern interpretation by referencing love to gold.

Both poems use repetition. Barrett Browning uses ‘I love thee’ which suggests that she is trying to convince him that she loves him deeply, but it could also be that she is trying to convince herself of the passion she feels for him. Repeating it throughout the poem helps introduce the several different ways that she loves him.

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Duffy repeats the world ‘gold’ suggesting that love is gold; expensive, treasured and precious. It also implies that love is like money, regarding the references to love being like a coin, rich, and making them millionaires.

This shows how much she thinks of love and how much she respects it. This concept also appears in Sonnet 43 where love is compared to religion, showing great importance and high regard for love. Both poems also use rhyme. In Sonnet 43, rhyme is not structured. This shows the passion she feels for the man as when we are very passionate about something, the feeling becomes very overwhelming and our thoughts can sometimes become too much. The different rhyme schemes show the different ways she loves him and shows that her love is not fixed, it is forever changing.

This is not the case in Hour. The rhyme in Hour is structured, following an ‘abab’ pattern, where the first line rhymes with the third and the second with the fourth. By having a structured rhyme scheme, Duffy shows the characters fixed perception that love hates time, it also shows that the character put thought into what she was saying, whereas in Sonnet 43, the character is more spontaneous. Hannah FerrabeeHigher English Paper Section A – Question 7 In Hour, the poet shows many feelings.

The character feels as though she needs to convince her partner that love should not be wasted and should be shown in the most simplest of ways, ‘spend it not on flowers or wine, but the whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch’, this says that she wants them to enjoy each other as much as they can without having to spend a lot of money or time trying to do so. In Sonnet 43, the character has many feelings for her partner. Similar to Hour, she is trying to convince him of her love. By referring to the ‘sun’ and ‘candlelight’ and loving him ‘better after death’, proves that she will love him forever.

There are also feelings in both poems towards love itself. In Hour, the character sees love as being like a prisoner to time, love being times beggar, but she also feels strongly towards love in the sense she feels that love is powerful and is able to give her and her partner the strength to fight time. This is shown in the line ‘we are millionaires, backhanding the night’. Again with a reference to money, it is as though she feels she has to bribe time with money just to receive love. In Sonnet 43, the relationship between the character and love is also strong.

She feels that love is controlling her and that love is all she needs to survive, but love will never leave her. Although both poems are about love, Hour is a more realistic view of love, saying how love doesn’t last forever and that we need not take advantage of it as it is sacred and if wasted becomes worthless and time will take over, and however hard we fight time, it will always win. However, Sonnet 43 is more of an idealistic view of love, saying that love lasts forever and that nothing gets in the way of love, which is something we all like to think happens.

Although I do agree that love can last forever, even if one or both partners die in a relationship, I think that once a bond like in Sonnet 43 is made, it can’t be disfigured like in Hour. Hannah FerrabeeUnseen Poetry Section B I think that the poet is trying to say that some students approach poems with a stubborn attitude and an unwillingness to learn. Here I see this in the words ‘tie the poem to a chair with rope’ showing that they don’t appreciate poems, they treat them like hostages and try to force the poem to spoon feed them what they are about, rather than them look themselves.

The writer seems to feel as though the poem should be looked at from every angle, they should be looked at carefully and slowly. He seems to want students to take time and consider all of the possibilities that the poem presents. The writer shows these feelings by using some of the five senses. Firstly, sight, ‘hold it up to the light like a colour slide’. This suggests that even though a poem is written in black and white, if the students look closely enough, they will find an array of colours / ideas that the poem contains.

The second is sound, ‘hearing’ in the second stanza. ‘Press an ear against its hive’ suggests that the poem is 3D, as though it looks quite boring and ordinary on the outside, but if the students bother to look inside, they will find active and lively ideas buzzing around like bees. It is as though the writer is trying to say that there are hundreds of different ways you can approach the poem. It also suggests that you have to be sensible and careful when analysing a poem, as you would if you were approaching a beehive.

Sight is shown again in the second stanza as he gives an example of a mouse being dropped into the poem. This gives the image of ideas being trapped in the poem and the students have to find a way of setting them free. Touch is shown within the next two stanzas, showing that the students need to feel the poem and really engage with the words. The image of walking in the poem’s room and looking for a light switch suggests that only by turning on the light (your brain) can you find the answers.

This again, gives the feel that poems are 3D. The fourth stanza gives an image of sliding over the top of the poem as though you are scanning the page. The writer here feels that the students have to keep looking at the basic structure of the poem after they have gone deep down into the poem (the ocean). Saying they have to wave at the author on the shore suggests that he feels it is important not to forget the writer / author and to take time in thinking about how and why they wrote the poem and what ideas they may have thought of.

Overall, the writer is trying to tell the students to not just read a poem, but to dig deep inside for clues. To not just beat it from different angles to try and get it to talk, but for students to do the hard work themselves. Billy uses imagery to help clearly show the students how to approach a poem. He splits the poem up into six stanzas, making it more of a list or instruction manual so that it is easy for students to understand. The ideas suggested are very effective and imaginative.

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Compare Love Poems Hour and Sonnet 43. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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