You can discover a lot about a poem by comparing it to one by another author that deals with a similar subject. You could compare features such as theme, form, structure, rhythm, language and figures of speech. Consider how each writer’s use of form links to the meaning of their poem.

The key thing to do when comparing poems is to make a list of similarities and differences between the two poems.

Comparison of 'Love and Friendship' by Emily Brontë with 'Long Distance II' by Tony Harrison


  • Both poems are about love.
  • Both use four line stanzas.
  • Both use rhyme to reflect change in the poem.


  • Harrison uses a first-person perspective, whereas Brontë takes an observer’s position, commenting on the nature of love and friendship in general.
  • Harrison uses four stanzas, whereas Brontë’s poem uses three.
  • Harrison implies that love is lasting, and in fact lasts after the death of a loved one. On the other hand Brontë suggests that love is fleeting.
  • Harrison deals with love between a long-term married couple, and Brontë deals with new romantic love and friendship.

Try comparing Love and Friendship to these other poems:

  • Bright Star by John Keats
  • Morning Song by Sylvia Plath