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“To the memory of Mr. Oldham” versus “My student, thrown by a horse”

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Abstract

The two poems are composed of memories of persons who have died. They are similar and in some ways different from one another. The poem “To the memory of Mr. Oldham” clearly demonstrates satire as a stylistic device while the poem “My student, thrown by a horse” depicts simile stylistic device.  The paper reviews both the differences and the similarities in the poems.

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“To the memory of Mr. Oldham” versus “My student, thrown by a horse”

The two poems have the same theme in that they both are talking about the memories of a person who has departed them.

The words in the poems have been carefully selected to show how the people who are no longer with them were dear to them. For instance, “To the Memory of Mr. Oldham” by John Dryden, the poet shows the association between the poet and Mr. Oldham by going to the extent of saying that their souls were united. In the poem “My student, thrown by a horse” Elegy for Jane, the poet starts by describing the memories of the lost loved one.

The two poems give a vivid description of the lost ones. They give the impression that the memories of the persons described were truly dear and loved. The poems also represent the complains of the poets, for instance, Dryden is complaining about knowing Mr. Oldham too late while in the poem,  “My student, thrown by a horse” the poet also feels that the character should be wake and beside him (Roethke, 2004).

It is also striking to note that in the two poems, the memories of the ones described are still fresh in the poet’s minds. In the poem “My student, thrown by a horse” the word damp grave has been used and this shows that the women had recently died. In the poem “To the Memory of Oldham” the words “farewell, too little and too known” have been selectively used to also show that the death of Mr. Oldham happened recently. The choice of the words in the poems shows that the memories which are dear are still fresh in the writer’s mind. The two poems show that the character in the poems were loved ones and were dear to them (Dryden, 2005).

Both poems depict different kinds of love, in my own opinion, “My student, thrown by a horse” the poem talks about a love that exist between people who care for each other. The teacher has an admiration for the student. He is neither the father nor the lover of the student. The teacher is seen as having great admiration for the student. It also shows that the teacher has great respect for the student. On the other hand, “To the Memory of Mr. Oldham”, describes a different kind of love. The love in the poem is more of love between the guardian and the poet. The poet describes Mr. Oldham in a way that shows parental love. The poet says that he had begun to think and call his own. John Dryden also shows great admiration for Mr. Oldham. He regrets that he has known Mr. Oldham too late and that he should have known him earlier (Dryden, 2005).

The two poems have a sharp distinction in that they have different descriptions of age. Mr. Oldham is seen as old compared to the poet while in the poem “My student, thrown by a horse”, the poem gives the description of a young woman. The choice of words in the poems shows that the woman was young. Satire and simile among the stylistic devices used in the poem. Satire is clearly displayed by John Dryden in the stanza, “what could advancing age have added more?”  Simile is evident in the poem “My student, thrown by a horse” when she is compared to “A wren, happy, tail into the wind”.  Both poems have used different stylistic devices (Roethke, 2004).

            Imagery is a stylistic device used in both poems. The poets has described the loss of their loved ones in a way leaves a picture in the minds of the reader. Using their own experience of the lost ones, the writers have tried to use imagery to describe their loved ones. For instance, in the poem “My student, thrown by a horse”, the writer’s expression leaves in our mind the image of a beautiful girl who loved to sing. In the poem “To the Memory of Mr. Oldham”, Mr. Oldham is described as a great poet who had great humor in poetry and enjoyed his work (Dryden, 2005).

            Last but nonetheless the least, the moods of the two poems is very polite and sad. The poets have used a polite mood to show their remorsefulness of having lost people they have loved. Though the poems reflect sad memories of their loved ones, there is a twist of how the ideas are conveyed. The poets talks of the characters that have died and therefore, would expect the poems to be sad and emotional, but the flow of ideas in the poems introduces a twist for the memories are sweet. For example in the poem “My student, thrown by a horse”, one would have been mistaken to think that it was a love poem (Roethke, 2004).

Reference

Roethke, T. (2004): Elegy for Jane (My student, thrown by a horse): Twayne publishers: Boston

Dryden, J. (2005): To the Memory of Mr. Oldham: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Stephen, Greenblatt et al. Vol. 1: New York: London.

 

Cite this “To the memory of Mr. Oldham” versus “My student, thrown by a horse”

“To the memory of Mr. Oldham” versus “My student, thrown by a horse”. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/to-the-memory-of-mr-oldham-versus-my-student-thrown-by-a-horse/

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