What are the similarities and differences between "The Voice" and "Full Moon and Little Frieda" from the idea of imagery and poetic devices?"The Voice" by Thomas Hardy and "Full mMoon and Little...

What are the similarities and differences between "The Voice" and "Full Moon and Little Frieda" from the idea of imagery and poetic devices?

"The Voice" by Thomas Hardy and "Full mMoon and Little Frieda" by Ted Hughes.

 

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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This is a very large question and eNotes format can only give you a starting point for your analysis. First: The tones cannot be said to be similar as one is mourning for a lost love (Hardy) while the other is celebrating the discovery of stars reflected in the mirror of water in a bucket and the moon in the dark of night enshrouding the return of the cows to the barn on a wintry night with early darkness (Hughes). Yet both poems create a dreamy atmosphere through the use of (1) a treble meter and (2) soft vowels sounds ("call to me"; "one who was all"; "cool small evening"; "cows are going home"etc) embedded among many voiced /m, l, n, w, r, v/ consonants.

Second: Hughes uses imagery that is concrete, evoking images of tangible things: buckets, stars, spiders, warm living cows like boulders, etc. On the other hand, Hardy uses imagery that is abstract, evoking ethereal intangible images: a personified listless wind traveling to him; a woman calling and calling to him; a woman looking fair as of old awaiting him in an "air-blue gown"; etc,

Third: While Hughes uses the devices of personification and simile and metaphor, Hardy uses personification and metaphor and repetition.

Hughes:
personification: "The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work."
simile: "like an artist gazing amazed at a work"
metaphor: "wreaths of breath - / A dark river of blood, many boulders"

Hardy:
personification: "the breeze, in its listlessness / Travelling across the wet mead"
metaphor: "when our day was fair"
repetition: "call to me"; "calling"

Fourth: Hughes builds his poem on treble and dupal meters that alternate between dupal iamb and trochee and are varied by the treble rhythms of anapest and dactyl [iamb: -/ -/; trochee: /- /-; anapest: --/ --/; dactyl: /-- /--]. The line lengths vary as much as the rhythm; they extend from two feet called dimeter to eight feet called octameter. In contrast, Hardy builds his poem on a steady treble dactyl rhythm (/-- /--) in four feet per line to create a poem in dactylic tetrameter.

Examples of Hughes' Metrical Variations:

iambic: A cool' / small  ev-' /
trochaic: Cows' are / go'-ing /
anapestic: small ev' / -en -ing shrunk' / to a dog' /
dactylic: / tense' for the /;  / home' in the /

Sources:

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