Two different writers can look at one thing and see many different things. When H.D. and Edger Allen Poe look at Helen from Greece they come up with totally different viewpoints of the same person. H.D. poet of Helen and Edger Allen Poe poet of To Helen come up with two totally different contrasting ideas of Helen through tone, imagery, and structure.
“All Greece Hate ” and “hating it deeper still” in H.D.’s poem sets a violent sense in the readers mind. Obviously he was not happy with Helen and believes that Greece has a negative perception of this women, the character in this poem is “the beauty of cool feet and slenderest knees”. Not showing off her good attributes making her unappealing to the reader even after there is a shift in the poem. Then you look at Poe’s poem and see that “Helen, thy beauty is to me” putting Helen on a pedestal making her seem like the god that she is. Poe makes his character come to life with beauty and grace making the reader’s opinion softens of the character. This contrast makes the reader go from a dark poem to light all in about six stanzas.
H.D uses imagery conveys what Helen looks like to all of Greece, “white ash amid funereal cypresses”. This tries to portray that everyone in Greece is basically disgusted with her and her looks. Reading that makes the reader not want to care for his character. Yet in Poe’s poem he writes “Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home” showing the reader that this character is someone to rely on for comfort. Then goes on to explain that she is “To the glory that was Greece” which shows the reader that it is something to miss and long for the hope of Greece. When the author wants to portray a character and their actions and characteristics it is now in authors hands to show the character in the way they want. Especially with only having such few words to use it may be hard to paint a picture for some but both poets’ do the job of telling a story and painting a good picture.
When structuring a poem you only have a few ways to turn yet both poets took a similar root. Although H.D’s poem is longer they both have stanzas of five and use some rhyming scheme. Poe’s poems use a more rhyming consistently where H.D’s does not and are shorter per line. Each still tell a story and get the message across yet you can see more detail in Poe’s poem explaining further while H.D’s goes for less is more.
Both poem have great structure, tone in which they were looking for, and imagery to compliment that. The reader can take one side or another on Helen as a character but there is no reason not to compliment both poets on their writing. Each has their own style and feelings to the subject and even though they don’t have too many words to portray it they do the job.
1998 Poem: “It's a Woman's World” (Eavan Boland)
Prompt: The following poem was written by a contemporary Irish woman, Eavan Boland. Read the poem carefully and then write an essay in which you analyze how the poem reveals the speaker’s complex conception of a “woman's world.”
When you read a poem you can come from it with an overall feeling and figure out by context clues how the author’s feelings were of the subject as well. “It’s a Woman’s World” written by Eavan Boland goes through the struggles and restraints society hold to being a woman. The speaker had a complex with it being a “Women’s word” and you can see that through diction, imagery and symbolism.
Boland uses strong diction such as “burning plume” and gored its basket grim harvest,” to set an example of the complex she possess. When the author talks about the gored head she is proving that in all of women’s time they were never at the scene of the crime nor be put up for accusation. The author does not take this lightly wanting to be put on the same standard as men. A great example to compare this to is in Macbeth when Lady Macbeth is the mind behind the whole operation of killing the king. Her character along with the speaker wants to have the same control as men are for bad or for good. The author is trying to convey with her diction that she wants her point across in the poem that women don’t have to be set under what they can accomplish.
There is a lot of imagery in this poem, yet one of the recurring pieces is fire. The speaker brings it up many times such as “and what we never will be: star-gazers, fire-eaters.” and “moth our children to the flame of hearth not history.” The fire imagined as the fire that the author is set under to want to change women’s role in society. Painting the picture of her passion and longing for throughout the poem, She then ends the poem with “she's no fire-eater, just my frosty neighbor coming home.” Acknowledging that even though she wants all these things for her and her gender something’s may not happen, especially since this had to be written at least 50 years ago.
The speaker talks about the wheel in the first stanza, “Our way of life has hardly changed since a wheel first whetted a knife” this could be symbolized as the wheel being all of women kind. One can say the speaker is talking about all of women kind in the poem and that could be connected with women actually making the world go round. The speaker points out “Appearances reassure: that woman there, craned to the starry mystery,” exemplifying that really even though women stay the same in some ways that they are changing in others.
Throughout the whole poem the speaker has a definite mood and author has a specific tone. To prove that the women race can do more and shouldn't be held to such standards when they can do more than what mankind says they can. The speaker has a complex towards to the “Women’s World” being that she wants it to change and be viewed at the top of society.