This Room And Love After Love Comparison

Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘This Room’ is written to create an impression of seeking ‘freedom’, where her room is ‘breaking out’ and seeking ‘space, light and empty air’. In this poem dharker describes the room as going wild, with everything in it trying to escape to ‘freedom’. On the other hand, Derek Walcott’s poem of ‘Love After Love’ is telling us how to love our selves after ending a relationship or better how to love yourself before loving another. Walcott uses words such as elation and smile to show that his poem is all about learning, accepting and celebrating who you are.

Dharker personifies the bed as ‘lifting out of its nightmares’. This shows that all negativity is being left behind, as chairs move out their usual ‘dark corners’. Alliteration and metaphors are also used to create an image and convey a sense of freedom as the chairs ‘crash through clouds’. In love after love, Walcott shows that learning to love yourself will not come immediately, but ‘the time will come’. He emphasizes that there is joy involved, as he says that it will be with ‘elation’ as you ‘greet yourself’ as you look at yourself in the mirror. The first stanza ends with the idea that you will smile at your self.

Dharker’s stanza three of ‘this room’ goes on to carry the theme of celebration of the fact that life can be unpredictable. A description of the sounds and movements of the kitchen equipment that ‘bang together in celebration, clang’ and eventually ‘fly’ past the fan, they look to be following the chairs and bed upwards. The onomatopoeia also enhances the sound effects of the poem. In love after love, Walcott says ‘again the stranger who was yourself’, conveys the idea that the person you use to be is like a stranger now. Walcott also uses religious diction, where he uses short imperative sentences, ‘give wine, give bread’. The religious words give a formal and caring tone to the poem.

In ‘This Room’, ‘no one is looking for the door’ at the end of stanza three; this could either mean no one wants to leave this place because there is now a sense of celebration there or it could mean that, no one wants to use the easy way out, they want to have the feeling of expanding and growing, moving skywards and forward in life. ‘Love after love’ is a poem that represents the internal thoughts of the writer. Walcott uses the phrase ‘peel your own images from the mirror’; here Walcott emphasizes that you’re past, ‘all your life, whom you ignored’ has value and helps for you to realise the importance of being comfortable and happy with who you are, accepting who you are.

In ‘This Room’, the 1st person is not used until the fourth stanza, ‘I’m wondering where I’ve left my feet’. Again emphasizing the point that that the atmosphere was exciting. The structure of the poem is not straightforward it is written in free verse although; Dharker uses enjambment to connect the fourth and fifth stanza witch is one line which emphasizes the ‘space’ and ‘freedom’. ‘My hands are outside clapping’, once again the writer emphasizes the idea of celebration.

In love after love, Walcott uses enjambment to link one stanza with the next. In the third stanza he uses the imperative ‘take down the love letters from the book shelf’; the idea leads into the last stanza that continues with the ‘photographs, the desperate notes’ which you should also take down. ‘Peel your own images from the mirror’ and ‘Feast on your life’. Instead of reminding your self of your previous relationships and pictures of previous partners, Walcott wants us to look at our own life and appreciate who we are.

In conclusion both poems have similar themes. The celebration of personal growth and expansion, accepting and being comfortable with who you are, are the key themes of the poems. Freedom is the most important thing and we should make the most of it in our lives. Both poems stress that the past should be left behind for example ‘lifting out of its nightmares’ and ‘take down the love letters from the book shelf’. ‘This Room’ is a metaphor for life’ and ‘Love After Love’ is about appreciating life. We should grow and think forwards.

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