Love, Poetry, and Feminism

At first, I planned on looking up the frequency of "love" in Poetry and BLAST, but I couldn't get BLAST to work. My second plan, then, was to look up love in Poetry and The Freewoman. I thought it would be interesting to see how love was discussed in these two magazines with two very different agendas. Originally, I had expected Poetry to mention love quite a bit. This is maybe a little stereotypical of poetry, but I certainly figured that it love would make an appearence frequently in the various selections of poetry. In contrast, I figrued that The Freewoman wouldn't discuss love too often during its discussion of more politically relevant topics.

I was quite surprised by what I found in both magazines. The frequency with which love appeared in the two magazines was quite similar. In Poetry, love really wasn't discussed as much as I was expecting. There was really only one magazine that had a very high useage of the word. Similarly, in The Freewoman, love was discussed an average amount across all the issues, but there was one issue in particular where love was discussed a lot more. What is really interesting is that the frequencies were very similar. In Poetry, the highest frequency was 40/10,000. In The Freewoman, the frequency was 32/10,000. This was much more similar than I would have guessed.

What this showed me is that universal themes really are universal. I know that if I had looked at specific topics between the two magazines, I would have had different results. For instance, any of the topics in The Freewoman's political agenda would much likely not appear too often in Poetry. However, it seems that a universal topic doesn't escape the clutches of a political magazine, but it also doesn't steal the show in a more artistic realm.

Love and Nature in Poems After the War

I looked at a couple of poems in three different magazines that were published during the post-war years. I was interested in looking at some of the poems during this time because I had been paying attention to the use of nature to describe love in poems in the pre-war years. The majority of the poems I had looked at before either described love using nature, or described a love of nature. I wanted to know if that description of love and nature had changed after the war. What I found was that there was still a love of nature and a use of nature in many of the poems, however some of the poems I found focused on the negative side of love.

In particular, one poem I found in The New Age called "Even So Love Died" by D.R. Guttery, spoke about the two things that can kill love: Fear and Pride. The poem ends with "Only remorse is/ left for proud craven". Fear and pride killed love and all is left is guilt and remorse for being too pride. One poem that I found which used nature to describe the good side of love was called "Lovers" by Alan Porter which was published in Wheels in October of 1920. It describe a man wandering through nature who is left dumbstruck by the intense love that is emitted from two people who he sees before him. He is left to ask the question: "Do bodily beauties flower/ To ripe a strange and spiritual fruit?" Is it love that causes these two people to come together and create this amazing spiritual being.

There was one other poem in The New Age that put nature in a negative light. The poem "I Cannot Look at the Sky or the Stars" by Winifred Mitchell, which has in parenthesis "Statement made by a prostitute", describes the speakers hatred for nature. It starts off with "Why did you bring me here/ Where daisies grow". The speaker continues to bash nature and all the things that most people would find beautiful about it. She then describes her love of the city life and the fact that the city is where she feels more comfortable: Street-light, not sun-light,/ Is where this flower grows."

After looking at some of these poems in the different magazines after the war I found that nature and love continued to be dominant topics in the poems. Although in some cases the way they were used changed from positive to negative, those topics were still necessary elements used to describe emotions and feelings towards life.