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 'Winter Swans' by Owen Sheers and 'Eden Rock' by Charles Causley

Similarities

  • Both poems are about relationships.
  • Both use first-person narrative, which makes the poem feel personal and immediate.
  • Each poem ends with a separate final stanza that emphasises the final thoughts and emotions of the speakers.
  • Both poems use a conversational tone and straightforward language.
  • Water is used as a metaphor in each of these poems.

Differences

  • Winter Swans is about a romantic couple, while Eden Rock is about the relationship between a child and their parents.
  • Winter Swans is directed from the speaker to his or her lover, and Eden Rock relates a situation to an unnamed third person.
  • Three line stanzas and a final two line stanza are used in Winter Swans, perhaps representing the discord and then reconciliation of the relationship. Eden Rock uses quatrains and a separate final line, implying that the child is ultimately separate from his or her parents.
  • In Winter Swans, an irregular rhythm links to the conflict in the relationship. In Eden Rock, iambic pentameter suggests the connection between the parents and the separation of the child.