Compare and contrast the poem "Marrysong" by Dennis Scott, and Shakespeare's Sonnet 29.  

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem "Marrysong" by Dennis Scott, and Shakespeare's Sonnet 29, have few similarities and many differences.

In "Marrysong," we learn of a man and the woman that he loves. In Sonnet 29, the speaker turns his attention [only] in the last six lines of the sonnet to a woman that he loves. However, this is the only similarity I see.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 is about a man who sees his life as a complete failure. The first two quatrains (or four-line stanzas) deal with descriptions of his poor self-esteem. He feels that the world has no regard for him, his luck is awful, and he is neither smart nor good-looking. However, at the beginning of the ninth line, the focus of the poem shifts dramatically to include jubilant thoughts of the woman that he loves, and that by thinking of her, he feels that no one in the world is more fortunate than he, not even "kings."

Thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

In "Marrysong," however, the entire poem is about a man whose woman/wife seems to drive him to distraction. There is no feeling of great joy when the author describes her, for she seems to be a person of changeable moods who can take a great day and destroy it, or take an ordinary day and make it truly memorable. She is a powerful force in the man's life and he often does not know how to deal with her. However, by the end of the poem, we know that he loves her enough that he will stay will her, accepting her and loving her for who she is, and dedicating himself to better knowing her.

Stayed home increasingly to find 
his way among the landscapes of her mind.


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