Compare how poets present romantic relationships in ‘Love’s Philosophy’ and ‘Sonnet 29’

Reading Time: 5 minutes   Percy Shelley uses traditionally Romantic natural imagery to conjure an impression of a world coupled up, blissful in its togetherness, with the final persuasive implication that, therefore, the listener should also want to be a part of this happy pairing. Barrett-Browning’s poem is less happy, more questioning of her lover and determined to convince them that she is always thinking of them, as though answering an unheard accusation of forgetfulness. Shelley’s natural imagery creates a progressive sense of coming together. Verbs like “mingle”, “mix”, “kiss” and “clasp” are all sweet, gentle, even elegant, creating an impression of a caring …

Writing ideas: a lonely platform

Reading Time: 1 minute   Write something inspired by this image. Will you be the man, waiting on the platform? Has he missed the train and is waiting impatiently to get to somewhere important? Or has he deliberately taken a train that’s later, and quieter? What is in his bag, which is almost a briefcase? Or is it actually empty? Or, could you write as someone watching him from a bench just out of sight, wondering these things and comparing him to their own life? Then again, perhaps if your interests turn to horror you could take inspiration from the film Phone Booth, and …