To Compare and Contrast Literary Pieces by Elizabeth Bishop and Dylan Thomas

Topics: Poetry, Metaphor, Tercet Pages: 2 (797 words) Published: April 1, 2014
To compare and contrast Elizabeth Biship’s One Art with Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle into the Night one cannot help but realize that both are dealing with the subject of loss. Bishop, though accepts all manner of loss and the literary devices chosen support this thesis. In contrast, Thomas does anything but accept loss. The literary devices employed by Bishop are use of understatement, traditional villanelle structure, moving from small to big. In contrast, Thomas, uses imagery, symbolishm, and metaphors to deliver his opposition of loss. His structure is also in contrast to Bishop’s because it is not traditional, but it is fragmented. These devices work to either further acceptance of loss or the battle against loss. Each poem uses specific diction in the word choices that reveal the attitude to loss. In the last stanza of Bishop’s villanelle, the second to last line or first line of the heroic couplet, the words put together in in the line “the art of losing’s not hard to master,” show that loss is easy. On the other hand, Thomas has words that evoke an emotion and often one of anger or of fighting loss, such as “rage, rage” which is repeated in stanzas one, three, five and seven. Other words showing opposition are “burn and rave” in the first stanza, second line or even “fierce tears” in the third from the last line that is not at all gentle or accepting, but angry, scary tears. The diction, thus, emphasizes the subject of each poem which is loss and the theme of each poem which is either to accept loss (Bishop) or to fight against it (Thomas’s theme). To compare the two, one finds the similarity beyond the fact that both are villanelles dealing with the same subject, they both use repetition to emphasize the thesis of either accepting loss or rejecting it. The similarity ends there as Bishop follows the traditional format of the villanelle with rhyming three line stanzas and Thomas uses a non-traditional format with a fragmented structure. “One Art” also...
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