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Poetry Ivor Gurney Paper

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Poetry Ivor Gurney Paper

Post by stperl » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:55 pm

I want to do a research paper on Ivor Gurney and I am comparing two poems, which he has allegedly both written dedicated to his friend, who was in German war prison and whom he believed to be dead at that time.

My analytical eye regarding poems is not the best and I was wondering if anybody here could have a look and help me analyse the differences and similarities of these poems. The paper aims to show that Gurney didn't confine himself in terms of style or/and viewpoint even if he wrote about the same thing. Anything that comes to mind that distinguishes the poems or that is special about one of the poems basically helps, although I have already written about the rhyme scheme and other basic (predominantly thematic) things. The poems are a published and an unpublished one, which is not dated. Gurney was quite unstable (psychological) and wrote thousands of poems in the asylum aswell as in the trenches (when he was a soldier himself). As there is no literature regarding An Ending estimations and guesses what things could refer to are welcome.

Thanks in advance to those who are willing to help. The task is not that easy, I know.


To His Love (1917)

He's gone, and all our plans
Are useless indeed.
We'll walk no more on Cotswold
Where the sheep feed
Quietly and take no heed.

His body that was so quick
Is not as you
Knew it, on Severn river
Under the blue
Driving our small boat through.

You would not know him now ...
But still he died
Nobly, so cover him over
With violets of pride
Purple from Severn side.

Cover him, cover him soon!
And with thick-set
Masses of memoried flowers—
Hide that red wet
Thing I must somehow forget.

An Ending
His body lies so still that swift was in flight
As any summer swallow: and blind to the light
His eyes are that saw with blue eagle glance
The smallest pennon borne aloft on farthest lance.
That pride of him, that power laid low in the dust
Death on him has put strong edict, the dread ‘must’
And he has obeyed thereto, as all must sooner or late;
Will ride no more to clatter hoofs through the gate
Will take no more the first soft breathings of Spring
With welcome surprisal, nor hear the bird sing
Any more in the midnight brake or see far hung
May’s crescent of silver in clear heaven swung.
The twin wonders sacred of dayspring and night-fall
With longing hardly to be borne scarce supported
So strong his love was, his faith so great harted
While we the unworthy watch that pageant change,
Of fresh and ruddy odour of pride, the Seasons range;
And he naught knows of any wonder of wide skies
Or May’s hedges foaming, fast closed are his eyes,
Hands folded, limbs loose, pallid unwilled,
His burial awaiting with hot heart stilled,
Passionless, uneager a story is done.
Let us pile earth to hide hom from his Father the Sun,
Raise a stone of honour, weep, turn, and begone.

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