The Listeners Essay

Published: 2021-07-25 21:45:05
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Category: Poetry

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However, ‘stone’ and ‘frown’ is a half rhyme. The middle part of the poem, there is less rhyming. “… command, … read … things, … fed: … appear: … kings;” There is only one rhyme in the middle section of the poem. At the end of the poem, however, the previous rhyming scheme is resumed. In this poem also, description is unevenly distributed between aspects. The description of the statue is rather detailed but the poet does not describe how it came to be there. ”
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,”This gives a detailed description of the face but there is nothing to say why the statue was built except for “Look on my works” in line 11. In ‘Ozymandias’, lines 11 and 12 are about what Ozymandias did. The poem builds an image of his self importance. ‘King of kings’ This shows his extreme vanity which gives an insight into his character. He believes everybody likes him but various bad qualities are included. Some examples are, ‘frown’, ‘wrinkled lip’, ‘sneer of cold command’. This is negative description, especially, ‘sneer of cold command’. The irony in this poem is embossed by his opinion of himself, especially, ‘king of kings’.
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works ye Mighty and despair Nothing beside remains. ‘ His works no longer remain and all there is to say he ever lived is the broken statue with the face half buried in the sand. The lines highlighted above are contrasting, also adding to the irony. The whole poem seems to be based on survival, destruction and death. ‘Which yet survive’ ‘… these lifeless things,’ Although nothing Ozymandias made is still there, the way in which the sculptor made the statue is still recognised and although the statue is not alive, the sculpting makes it seem real.
In ‘On the Departure Platform’ there are also unanswered questions. For example, the poet does not tell us why the persona had to leave, what his relationship was to the woman he talked about and what happened on his return. The reader can speculate over these questions but nothing suggests a clear answer. The rhyming scheme in this poem is A, B, A, B. This gives a good rhythm and highlights certain words. However, unlike ‘The Man He Killed’, the last line of each stanza is shorter than those that precede it. “We kissed at the barrier; and passing through She left me, and moment by moment got.
Smaller and smaller, until to my view She was but a spot” This shows the rhyming scheme and the comparisons to the woman which keep appearing throughout the poem. This poem is similar to both ‘Ozymandias’ and ‘The Listeners’ in that particular areas have a lot of description. In this case, it is the atmosphere on the platform and what the persona saw when he looked back. “Under the lamplight’s fitful glowers,” This describes the scene at the train station rather well but once again, there are large holes. None of the main questions in this poem are answered.
In ‘The Man He Killed’ the poet writes each stanza in the same format. Each stanza has 6 syllables in the first line, 6 in the second, 8 in the third and 6 in the fourth. This helps highlight certain words and provides a good rhythm to the poem and also rhyming poems encourage many readers. once again, the poet uses a persona that the reader can identify with easily. This poem has fewer unanswered questions. It is pretty self explanatory and simple whilst conveying the poets views well enough as to make the reader feel what the poet does. The only real question would be who was the persona talking to.
However, this would not really affect the meaning of the poem if it was included but it would make the poem more complicated and detract from the moral. “The Listeners”, “Ozymandias” and “On the Departure Platform” all have many unanswered questions. The poet leaves the reader wondering after they have finished reading the poem. however, in this aspect, “The Man He Killed” is a much fuller, clearer poem which is largely self explanatory. It leaves the reader thinking about a serious subject, not, for example, why the Traveller went to the house.
In my opinion, Thomas Hardy wrote this poem during the Boer wars to convey his thoughts on the matter. The persona says ‘Yes; quaint and curious war is! ‘ All four poems are about somebody who is no longer there. In “The Man He Killed”, the man the persona shot is not there. In “Ozymandias”, Ozymandias is not there. In “The Listeners” the listeners are ghosts, maybe of the people the Traveller was meant to meet. In “On the Departure Platform” the persona himself has to leave his partner, maybe to go to war. All four poems contain a moral.
However, in Thomas Hardy’s poems, (“The Man He Killed” and “On the Departure Platform”) the moral is clearer. In “The Man He Killed”, the main message is how strange war is and in “On the Departure Platform”, the moral is nothing can be exactly the same twice. In my opinion, it was easier to understand Thomas Hardy’s poems because they are real life events which means the reader can identify with the persona, making the poem more meaningful. In “The Listeners”, there is a vague moral of do things straight away because if you wait too long, you may not be able to.
In “Ozymandias” the moral is that whatever you do, nothing can last forever and maybe to some extent not to be vain and self important. “The Listeners” is the only one of these poems to not have a persona telling a story. Whereas the other three poems are all in first person, “The Listeners” is in the third person which makes it more of a story. The poems I have studied have many similarities and differences and it would be hard to say that two poems are more associated with eachother than any other pair. The main difference however, is about unanswered questions. In this aspect, “The Man He Killed” is the odd one out of these poems.

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