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 'Cozy Apologia' by Rita Dove and 'Dusting the Phone' by Jackie Kay


  • Both poems deal with love.
  • They have a first-person narrative.
  • Both poems have an irregular metre that does not fall into a sustained pattern and attempts to capture the style of everyday speech.
  • Both poems have a conversational style, with digressions and sentences that finish abruptly part of the way through a line.
  • Both poems use metaphor and personification: ‘[Hurricane] Floyd’s cussing up a storm’ in Cozy Apologia and ‘The future is a long gloved hand’ in Dusting the Phone. The effect for the reader is to get sudden glimpses of an imaginative world of dream and fantasy within the poems, despite them both using everyday phrasing and language.


  • Cozy Apologia is about a person happy in a relationship but Dusting the Phone is about an unhappy relationship.
  • Rita Dove uses occasional rhyming couplets and 10-line stanzas. Jackie Kay uses three-line unrhymed stanzas.

Explore the study guide for 'Cozy Apologia'.