Compare two poems
True Love Vs. Puppy Love: A Closer Look to Poe and Teasdale’s Poems
Annabel Lee (Poem A) is a classic poem written by Edgar Allan Poe that talked about the fate of a man who lost his beautiful lover. On the other hand, The Look (Poem B) was a short poem written by Sarah Teasdale that talked about her short-lived relationships with different men. While both poems implied that their speakers were youth, Poem A and B diverged in the context and definition of love. This paper ascertains that Poem A represents best the meaning of “true love” while Poem B can be seen as an example of “puppy love”.
The overarching theme of both poems is “youthfulness”, due to the context when the speakers experienced love. Poem A explicitly implied in the poem that he experienced love when he was in the youth stage. For instance, in line 7, the speaker mentioned that I was a child and she was a child. Meanwhile, Poem B did not directly imply that the speaker was in her youth stage. However, observing the behavior of the speaker who had relationships with Strephon, Robin, and Collin in very short intervals, suggests that the woman is not yet matured enough to handle serious relationship. Thus, the reader concluded that the speaker is indeed in her youth age.
The authors of both poems stressed “youthfulness” in the theme of the poem, because this is really the stage where we usually experience our first encounter with “love”. However, Poem A suggests a more conservative and genuine love. The speaker resembled the character of Romeo who fought to be with his lover despite the kinsmen’s intervention: So that her high-born kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre, In this kingdom by the sea (Lines 17-20). Moreover, the speaker did not stop loving the girl even if death came in the way: And neither the angels in Heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee (Lines 30-33). On the contrary, Poem B suggests a more contemporary setting, where the speaker experienced her “puppy love”. Just like other youths, the woman in the poem finally found Collin or someone who gave different meaning of love.
Poem A and Poem B talked about the meaning of love from two different speakers. The speaker of Annabel Lee is a male who fell madly in love with Annabel Lee: And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me (Lines 5-6). These lines suggest the two-way relationship of the couple; thus, suggests “ideality” in the realm of erotic relationship. On the other hand, the speaker of Poem B represented her love experience through the different seasons: “Stephen kissed me in the spring, Robin in the fall” (Lines 1-2). The last boy she had relationship with seemed to suggest a different story: But Colin only looked at me And never kissed at all (Lines 3-4). As a reader, this implies that the speaker is perhaps a “playgirl” who constantly changes her partner.
I can relate myself to the speaker of Poem B. In this “liberated” era, many youths, including me, often experience our first love and first heartbreak in our teenage stage. When I experienced my first love, I thought he was the one. Until such time that we have to part ways and thus the so-called first major heartbreak. It seems that it was such a big loss, especially that all aspects of life had been affected. I could not concentrate well in my studies and I shut my door to other people, until I met someone who changed my perception about boys. Today, I can say that I finally found the “Collin” of my life.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Annabel Lee. Poetry Foundation, Web.
Teasdale, Sarah. The Look. Poetry Foundation, Web.
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