A Comparison of Sonnet 17 by William Shakespeare And The Writer by Sujata Bhatt

A Comparison of Sonnet 17 by William Shakespeare And The Writer by Sujata Bhatt
Sonnet 17? and ?The Writer? deal with the issues of the difficulties of describing nature and a woman on paper and the frustration of not being able to write. Having reading both titles one would get the impression of ?Sonnet 17? being a love poem, (as a sonnet is a traditional love poem),that it concerns the issues of beauty and time. ?17? illustrates the number of the poem, showing the poet has written quite a few sonnet, this being his seventeenth one, all about the same women. This shows his obsession with the woman he is writing about and how much he loves her. From the title ?The Writer?, the word ?writer? is normally associated with someone creative and imaginative and it tells the reader the poem will in some way deal with the writing process or something related to writing. Shakespeare is famous for writing poems and plays. He was born sometime in late April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK and he died on his 52nd birthday in 1616. Where as Sujata Bhatt is of Asian origin, which may influence her take on writing. She was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1956.
This means the backgrounds of both writers are very different, as Shakespeare lived in the UK and Sujata lived in India. Also the poems were written in very different periods of time. When Shakespeare wrote ?Sonnet 17?, Elizabeth I ruled England ? the Elizabethan Age. Bhatt wrote her poem in India, completely different time periods and ways of living. Both poets? fell very frustrated about writing but have very different reasons for feeling so. Bhatt feels frustrated as she is not able to describe the beauty of nature on paper: ?How would things move on paper?? Which clearly illustrates how she could write about the beauty of nature on paper but you wouldn?t be able image it and get the full picture ? you have to see it to believe it. Also the fact that it is a rhetorical question shows the poet feels angry. This is effective because it stats in one sentence that the true beauty of nature cannot be described on paper. Her frustrations are also highlighted to the reader by the gaps in the poem, where words have been rubbed out. ?Paper is dry, flat. Where is the soil?, This again portrays her frustration as she is thinking, how can you write on something which so dry and flat, and so dead. Theirs no point in writing on it as it has no life, how could you describe something with life ? her story on something dead ? the paper. But that it seems quite unusual that Bhatt has described the paper as being dry and flat, when that is exactly what denotes paper in the first place. These are the very two words that one would associate with paper, and yet, Bhatt seems to suggest that there is something wrong with these characteristics. When Bhatt states ?how would things move on paper?? she appears to be concerned for how her story and feelings would be portrayed in the manner she wishes them to be. It appears obvious that the powerful and compelling story within her heart cannot possibly be expressed to its fullest extent. Of course a story cannot live and move, but the poetical device of personification that is being used here cleverly and accurately depicts her message that the story cannot be animated and brought to life except for ?in your heart?. The effect is to make the reader imagine the story suddenly springing to life and the distinct impression is given that the reader would be made to feel more in touch with the story or message that Bhatt is desperately trying to convey. The irony of ?The Writer? is that for someone whose profession it is to write, it seems odd that she finds it so hard to express her feelings on paper. ?the best story â??.. Is the one you can?t write? It seems Bhatt would prefer to keep her emotions hidden in her heart and that is where the story is best told; perhaps indicating that she would rather tell the story to someone who is very close to her. But on the other hand Shakespeare?s opinions are: ?Who will believe my verse in time to come?? It seems that Shakespeare is saying that there is almost no point in writing down his story or feelings as in time to come, perhaps nobody will even believe, much less care about the content of what he has to say. This is a rhetorical question again similar to what Bhatt has written, showing his anger that what he has written wont be appreciated by the future readers. ?The age to come would say ?This poet lies; Such heavenly touches ne?er touched earthly faces." Again this shows how the poets feel no one will believe him in the future. What he has written could never be true. The word ?heavenly? gives the impression of something out of this world, holy and angelic. Someone living on earth could not look like this. A range of poetical devices are used in both poems. In ?The Writer? Bhatt uses: ?â??you can?t write, you wont write.? Bhatt has also used personification: ?â?? throngs of trees elbowing each other asideâ??? This is effective as trees cannot elbow each other, so Bhatt is trying to show that trees are really alive not dead like paper ? paper being dead in nature. The word ?elbowing? an aggressive word; this may convey the poet?s feelings on cutting down trees to make paper. On the other hand Shakespeare uses the metaphor of ?tomb? suggests something precious, ?The Writer? has no set rhyme scheme and a set structure unlike ?Sonnet 17? in which the typography is far more rigidly structured which allows the reader to flow more torrently through the poem. The rhyme scheme is quite irregular, adding to the awkward feeling that Shakespeare is attempting to project. Sometimes it is a rhyming couplet which is of course the very defining characteristic always featured in a sonnet at the end in the final two lines: ?time and rhyme? but through the rest of the poem, it seems bumpy and odd almost like the poet is suggesting he feels uncomfortable in some way. The poets? both use punctuation in a very specific way to highlight their opinions. Bhatt has used very little punctuation; she has used embjambment. This is effective because it means all the lines flow without a pause, which means it is supposed to be read quickly - things are normally read quickly when angry which is relevant as we know Bhatt feels very strongly about destroying nature. In contrast Shakespeare also hasn?t used much punctuation just like Bhatt for the same reason ? so the words run through the lines, projecting anger. In conclusion, my opinions on both poems are that ?Sonnet 17? was quite hard to understand at the beginning but after I had circled key words and written associations with them and analysed it, I began to understand what the poet was trying to say. Over all I think ?Sonnet 17? is well written but it is quite hard to understand. ?The Writer? was not as hard a poem to understand but it was still hard. Again I circled key words and analysed which helped with understanding it. Overall I thought the poem was well thought out and interesting.

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