Comparing Two Poems
Monday, 27 September 2010 Compare the similarities and differences between two Ballads, Charlotte Dymond and John Lomas. Charlotte Dymond and John Lomas, are two poems which share several techniques. They also, however are different in many ways.
This essay will explore their similarities and their differences and explain reasons why the two ballads are different or similar. For example, both poems have a theme of murder.
Ballads normally have a sad or shocking story, so this is very common. In both poems the murderer is always hanged after murdering another person. In Charlotte Dymond, the murderer is her lover.In John Lomas, the murderer is John Lomas. The murder controls the ballads and there is no point in the ballads which are happy, this means that the ballads can be quite depressing because they are so sad. John Lomas is quite sad because the murderer John Lomas is telling the story with a great amount of regret. In both poems a razor is used to kill the victim.
Razors come out of a small wooden holder, so it would be easy to hide at your wrist, or like in Charlotte Dymond, Matthew had the razor ‘waiting at his wrist’. A difference between the two poems would be; in Charlotte Dymond the writer uses a range of different languages.For example, similes are used a lot, like in stanza fourteen there are two similes, they are; her skin was soft as sable, and her eyes were wide as day. Whereas in John Lomas, there is only one simile in the whole ballad, that simile is; my conscience did like fuel burn. That simile is in stanza nine. In comparison Charlotte Dymond has four similes and John Lomas has one. Similes are when you say something is like another thing or when someone says some as so for example the tree was like a wall, or the journey was as long as a mountain.
The writer could of not wanted more similes in John Lomas because maybe he didn’t want things to be referred to as something else. Another difference is that in Charlotte Dymond the writer uses lots of alliteration, they use alliteration twelve times in the whole poem an example would be; why do you sit so sadly, your face the colour of clay, and with a green gauze handkerchief, wipe the sour sweat away? That is actually the whole of stanza eleven. In contrast to in John Lomas, where there is only one line of alliteration. This line is in stanza nine and it is; my crime was of so deep a dye.This is quite a significant difference. Some people think that alliteration is when two or more words in a sentence, line have the same starting letters. But it’s not that simple, the words have to have the same sound to go with the same letters.
The writer may not have wanted alliteration because he thought that it was hard to find two words with the same letter and sound. A similarity between Charlotte Dymond and John Lomas is both poems have four line stanzas. The number of stanzas is different John Lomas having fourteen stanzas and Charlotte Dymond having twenty three stanzas.This is important to know, because generally four line stanzas is a usual number of lines, but you can get stanzas with more than four lines. Having more stanzas increases the space for a range of language, and it also increases the space to describe the story in more detail. Maybe the writes had a list of key points during writing the ballad which were the key points of the story and they decided that the list was finished after fourteen or twenty three stanzas, maybe the writer couldn’t add any more detail to the stanzas without making the rhyme scheme change or the amount of stanzas change.If these two things were to happen it would mean that the rhythm would ‘go out the window’ because it would no longer work as it did before.
A difference between the two poems is that Charlotte Dymond uses metaphors for example; her cheeks were made of honey and; her throat was made of flame. Whereas in John Lomas there are no metaphors in the whole ballad. This may be because the ballad only has fourteen stanzas and the poet could not fit any metaphors in or it could be because, he chose not to put any metaphors in the poem.A metaphor is when you say something is something for example ‘my dog is a great big ball of fluff’ in this I am saying that my dog is actually a great ball of fluff not as or like when you use a simile but he is a ‘great big ball of fluff’ this is very direct and as though the writer is actually talking to you as a reader if the writer is talking in third person like in Charlotte Dymond so the writer may not want to write something so direct.Whereas in John Lomas the writer is talking about when he killed the victim and so he might want to be direct when he is talking to the reader. Another difference between the two poems is that in Charlotte Dymond the poet writes in third person as in talking about something happening in this case the murder of Charlotte Dymond. This means that the murder could be changed to fit the criteria of what the murderers friend or the victims friend.
This means that the poem could have been changed to fit what the writer wanted for example the writer might be the murderer’s friend, so he might want to make the murder not seem as bad as it actually was. Or the person might be the victim’s friend so they want to make the murderer look as bad as possible. Whereas in John Lomas the writer is actually the murderer. He is talking about the murder whilst he is in prison waiting to be hung. This means that his mind might be somewhere else which might be the reason that there is not a lot of detailed description.But that might not be the only reason that there isn’t a lot of description because the ballads were written in the eighteen hundreds, then it might have been more important to have a regular rhythm and rhyme scheme than to have extremely detailed stanzas. I think that I prefer Charlotte Dymond to John Lomas because I like the way it is more detailed, and I prefer the ballad being in third person, and the way the poem has a lot of similes and metaphors and alliteration.