Comparing Poems Message and To His Coy Mistress 

Categories: Poems

Message by Wendy Cope

It is about a woman who is waiting for a man to ring her. She is getting very anxious. She gives the impression she hasn't had much luck with men in her life and wants to meet someone special before it's too late. She wants the man to ring her up because she thinks it will be hard to find anyone else like him "Good, old-fashioned men like you are rare". She thinks she has found love this time; she suggests that she has had other relationships that weren't successful.

She exaggerates a lot and uses irony to make a serious point. "Well, wouldn't it be nice to consummate our friendship while we've still got teeth and hair?"

To his coy mistress by Andrew Marvell

The poem is about a man whose girlfriend is very shy; he wants to sleep with her but she is too shy. He is saying that if he had all the time in the world then he wouldn't mind her being shy.

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"Had we but world enough, and time, this coyness Lady were no crime". Near to the end he gets more serious and says that if he doesn't take her virginity then when she is dead worms will take it.

Both poets are adopting a persona of someone else, as does the comedian Victoria Wood. They both show similarity to one of her sketches where she wanted to have sex with her husband before they grew too old and frail. They are both showing anxiety with members of the opposite sex.

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The author of message shows this when she says, "While we've still got teeth and hair". The author of to his coy mistress shows this when he says, "Had we but world enough". In Coy mistress he has a more sensitive attitude to the girls problem than the woman does to the man in message; but towards the end he lets out all his feelings, which isn't very sensitive to his girlfriend. In message the woman is acting more desperate and isn't very sensitive.

Both poets address their poems to their lovers even though neither is present; this has a more heartfelt attitude and a more dramatic atmosphere. Message has a more romantic mood. They both use colloquial language, which contributes quite a lot as it doesn't make the poem sound to formal but makes it sound like everyday life.

Marvell uses lots of imagery like metaphors "Into ashes all my lust". This has a more dramatic affect. He uses similes like "While the youthful hue sits on thy skin like morning dew." Marvell exaggerates quite a bit when using Metaphors; he uses lots of different metaphors to make the same point. Cope uses very few metaphors and fewer similes; she uses metaphors like "Kamikaze love affair" again it makes it sound more dramatic; she uses exaggeration to the same affect. "Just bear in mind that you are forty-eight", "There's no time to spare".

Cope uses lots repetitive rhyme. The ending of the last word on every other line rhymes "late", "hate". Each line has a steady rhythm, which makes it sound more interesting. Marvell uses rhyme as well but the ending of the last word on the line rhymes with the ending of the last word of the line below it. The pace of the poem gets faster towards the end from where it says, "But at my back"

I think Message is good because once you've started reading it you want to carry on; it grabs the reader's attention within the first two paragraphs. It has a good sense of rhythm and many people can relate to it in everyday life.

To his coy mistress is good as he writes the first part in a romantic way, saying about all the things he wouldn't mind her doing if they had all the time in the world. It has a good sence of rhythm and when it goes faster towards the end it makes it more exciting and keeps the reader hooked to the very end.

Updated: Apr 19, 2023
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Comparing Poems Message and To His Coy Mistress . (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Comparing Poems Message and To His Coy Mistress  essay
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