What poem by e. e. cumming should I compare to "The Wild Swans at Coole" by Yeats?  

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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These poets are difficult to compare, due both to their disparate poetic styles and to their outlook on Life itself. But they both address the beauty and natural balance of life-mates. Yeats’ poem, on the surface about a childhood memories of a flock of swans, is really about the need for mates and the loss of mates, a favorite theme of the love-lorn Irish poet. The same theme is treated by cummings in his beautiful poem “one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one:”( XVI in 1x1) In the line “love only rides his year” cummings hints at the cyclic nature of the seasons (one of cummings’ favorite themes), and in the final line (“All lose, whole find”) gets as close as an optimist like cummings can to expressing Yeats’ feeling of emptiness at seeing an odd number of swans (meaning one swan has lost its mate). In these two poems, both poets agree on the absolute essential need for a lifemate.

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