Comparison

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.

The key thing to do when comparing poems is to note the points where they are similar and the points where they differ. You could make a list noting similarities and differences between the two poems.

Comparison of 'Kamikaze' by Beatrice Garland and 'The Émigrée' by Carol Rumens

Similarities

  • Both poems are about outcasts: a shunned father in Kamikaze and an exile in The Émigrée.
  • Both poems use unrhymed stanzas with no strict metric pattern to suggest everyday speech.
  • Both poems mention powerful impressions of the senses such as colour and shade eg 'green-blue translucent' and 'dark shoals' in Kamikaze and 'sunlight-clear', 'every coloured molecule' and 'my shadow falls as evidence' in The Émigrée. Both poems mention taste - 'salt-sodden' is used in Kamikaze and 'tastes of sunlight' is used in The Émigrée, showing the vividness of these imagined thoughts for the speakers.

Differences

  • Garland uses a combination third-person narrative and first-person narrative whereas Rumens uses first-person narrative only. Garland's changes of narrative person have a distancing effect for readers, allowing us to see the poem's events from different perspectives.

Explore the study guide for 'The Émigrée'.