An Argumentative Essay
Any Poet worth the paper he write on will tell you that the love poem is the most perilous writing enterprise anyone could ever dare (Alunan, 2008 p88). There are so many pitfalls that one encounters when writing a love poem. There are the dangers of cliche, over-sentimentalism, poetic distance and control, and the mush that becomes to bawdy for poetry. Yet, it is a paradox that of all the topics and subject, love remains as the top poetic theme (Stallworthy, 1986 p21).
It would be a winning wager if one is to make a bet that any beginning, struggling or even the recognized and respected, or even the masters, have written a love poem or two (Low, 1993). To be specific, surely, it would be a love poem that these poets have written earliest in their brushes with the craft of writing poetry. Literary records will show how voluminous love poems are. There is an outstanding writer and an outstanding love poem from that writer in any given period (Stallworthy 1986, p20). In fact even the greatest writer and the Bard himself, William Shakespeare speaks and writes voluminously of love.
Almost all of his sonnets are ‘love’ sonnets. If we are to further classify what sort of ‘love’ it is that becomes subject of love poems, this will totally stretch the discussion. For purposes of brevity, this essay will focus on Sonnets 18 and 29 by William Shakespeare to prove that it is in poetry where love is expressed most potently and most powerfully. This fact alone should be conclusive enough as to the power of poetry in expressing love. However, for a closer discussion, we will examine said sonnets. Poetry 4
A technical discussion of poetry would be extraneous but if we are to fully understand the thesis statement, then it is imperative that we at the very least have a working definition of what poetry is. This may be daunting since not even the masters and the scholars can readily define what poetry is and what is not (Squire 1977 p1). The definition of poetry would take an entire discussion altogether but for purposes of understanding, let me offer a definition provided for by Francis M. Connell in the book A Text Book for the Study of Poetry published in 2008:
Poetry is the imaginative representation, through the medium of language, of true grounds for the noble emotions (p9). With definitions taken care of, let us now proceed to fully discuss how love is most potently and powerfully expressed through poetry. As above mentioned, we will proceed with critical analysis of the said sonnets from the Bard himself. SONNET 18 Perhaps one of the most popular Shakespearean sonnet, sonnet 18 speaks of the beloved as being better than a summer’s day (line 1) being more lovely and temperate (line 2). The sonnet opens with such powerful metaphor.
The sonnet continues to enumerate the ugly side of summer, which goes without saying, the loved one does not posses and therefore, summer’s charm is no comparison. After all, summers rough winds shake the buds of May that are yet to bloom (line 3) and summer lasts too shortly (line 4). The cruel summer sun is also too hot (line 5) and often dims (line 6) and this beauty fades away eventually (line 7) as is dictate by fate or the seasons changing (line 8). However, the loved one’s summer is eternal (line 9) and will be forever in possession of such beauty (line 10) that not even death can take away (line 11).
This beauty ever Poetry 5 grows in time and in age (line 12) and shall remain as long as there are men (line 13) and there is life (line 14. ) If there is any more doubt as to the power of poetry in expressing love like no other, the this beautiful sonnet from the master Bard himse4lf should put all arguments top rest. Without a doubt, the power of this piece should bring home the point. Only in poetry can there be an eternal summer (line 9) that defies death (line 11). Sweet, swift and to the point, love is expressed in terms that defines eternity and lasts forever.
Such a masterful and most powerful love is exemplified in poetry and poetry alone. The combination of precision of language, organic unity and beautiful imagery magnifies love in ways that bursts forth like heavens eye (line 5), hot and wonderfully felt and resonates through the soul. SONNET 29 The sonnet begins with a hypothetical situation of being ill favored by society and fate (line 1) and being in a solitary state of misery (line 2). Heaven remains deaf (line 3) and there is only one’s self to blame (line 4).
There is a human desire to be like others who are better off (lines 5 and 6) to be as blessed as others (line 7) and in discontent with one’s own pleasures (line 8). Yet, epiphany comes amidst these dark thoughts (line 9) and there is glad acceptance (line 10) with a happiness that comes from the soul (line 11) and bursts forth like sunshine (line 13) lifted up to the heavens like a song (line 14). This is the memory of a beloved’s love (line 15) that makes one richer than a king (line 16). This sonnet speaks of the epiphany and the acceptance that love brings.
That happiness that is like a ray of light that destroys the darkness of despair making one sing like a lark at the Poetry 6 break of day (lines 11-14). The last two lines of the sonnet neatly sums up the very powerfully what the power of the memory of a beloved. If this is not testament and proof to the power of poetry in expressing love, above any other then, reason is lost. It is only in poetry that man is rescued from the dreary and sadness of a condemning world, and even of a deaf God, to sing like a lark at the mere memory of a beloved’s sweet love.
The narrative is perfectly paced, the language precise and the imagery beautiful. The tone is just right and the emotions shines through and is perfectly tied up by the powerful last two lines. CONCLUSION The very precision and fine art that is poetry proves inarguably so, how love is powerfully expressed and exhibited. Only the best words in the best order (Coleridge, 1827) can be consider poetry. Being such fine art and the precision that poetry demands make it the most powerful tool in expressing love.
In poetry, what is abstract is rendered concrete by the use of imagery and figurative language. And it is in poetry that such a very abstract concept as an emotion – love in particular- is given shape, texture, sound, image, and perhaps even taste. With such strict standards and demands, it is poetry, therefore, that can best and most powerfully express love. It’s as if, poetically speaking, a whole cascading power of a water fall is distilled into a single tear. It’s as if the rumbling of a booming thunder is captured into a single sigh. Such is the power of poetry.
Poetry 7 References Shakespeare, W. (2007). Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Filiquarian Publishing, LLC. Alunan, M. M. (2008). Afterword to Garcia S. F Jr. Heartsong and other poems (p88). Iloilo City, Philippines: Imprenta Igbaong. Stallworthy, J. (1986). A book of love poetry (pp. 18-22). Oxford University Press US. Low, A. (1993). The reinvention of love: poetry, politics, and culture from Sidney to Milton. Cambridge University Press. Squire, J. C. (1997). Essays on Poetry. Ayer Publishing. Connell, F. M. (2008). A Text-book for the Study of Poetry. BiblioBazaar, LLC.Sample Essay of Paperial.com