There are numerous differences and similarities between the two poems, ‘A Wife in London’ and ‘Come up from the Fields Father’. Both poems are about relatives losing someone in war and both share the message, not only soldiers suffer during the war, but families left at home too. They are also similar in the fact that both poems involve a letter and focus on the reactions of the receiver. Finally, the theme and meaning of the poems are similar in that they both show the true loss and reality of war. Their differences lie in the fact that they have different voices, and are structured differently.
They include similar tone although they are expressed at different pint in the poems. Furthermore, some words in the poem have been chosen to create the same meaning but in different ways. I addition to this, although their stories are similar, they focus on different families and therefore illustrates the variety of people who suffered in the war from loss. The story of these two poems is one of the elements that show both their similarities and differences. Their stories are similar in that both deal with the effect of a letter, from a soldier fighting in war, to loved ones left at home.
However, their difference lies in the fact that in ‘A Wife in London’, the letter is from a husband to his wife, as the title indicates. Dissimilarly, in ‘Come up from the Fields Father’, the letter is from a (representative of a) son to his parents. From the quotation “here’s a letter from our Pete”, we can deduce that the daughter is speaking about someone who is important to the whole family as she uses the word “our”. Therefore I believe that he is her brother, and the only son. Furthermore, the two poems have different speakers.
In ‘AWIL’, the main speaker is a narrator, telling the story of a wife. There is no place in the poem, where there is any dialogue from the wife or anyone else. However, in ‘CUFTFF’, there are several characters whose dialogue has been used to help tell the story. We can infer there is a child as when they speak they use the terms “mother” and “father”. We know that this character is their daughter as the quotation “just-grown daughter speaks through her sobs” indicates so. Also, we know that there is a mother and father, as the daughter calls for both of them at the beginning of the poem.
What is more, there is a narrator, similarly to ‘AWIL’. A similarity between the poems is that they both involve a letter. In both poems it seems that the letter is being read in the voice of whoever wrote it. There is another similarity, being that the main, most important words of the letter have been picked out. For example, in ‘AWIL’, the only part of the letter in the poem is, “He-has fallen-in the far South Land”. I believe that the author has chosen to reveal only this important part of the letter to focus them on the point of the letter – the loss.
In addition the structure of these two poems illustrates some main differences. ‘AWIL’ starts with the setting, followed by the news of the soldier’s death. The second part of the poem illustrates the irony of the story as the wife receives a letter from her dead husband, describing what he had planned to do when he returned home. It is ironic as we know that those plans will never come true. ‘CUFTFF’ starts with the daughter calling for her parents to come and see the letter they had just received, from who they thought was their son.
This is then followed by the setting of the scene. Once the family have opened the letter, they realise that it is not from their son, but a representative of him, saying that he had been shot and “will soon be better”. The narrator then goes on to reveal that the son will never recover as he is already dead. The poem finishes with the narrator explaining the grieving period of the mother. Although the layout of the two poems is different, they are similar in that they both involve irony, but in different ways; the relatives receive a letter too late.
The structural divisions are different between the two poems. The most obvious division of ‘AWIL’ is that the poem is split into two parts, with two verses in each. The first part of the poem illustrates the tragedy of the story whereas the second part portrays the irony. Also, each verse is about a different subject. For example, the first verse is the setting of the scene followed by the second verse which tells us about the wife receiving the letter regarding her husband’s death. Unlike ‘AWIL’, the verses in ‘CUFTFF’ are not grouped into different parts.
Furthermore, not all the verses focus on different subjects. Verses 2, 3 and 4 for example, are all setting the scene of the poem. Whether the poem rhymes or not is another element that shows a difference between the poems. The rhyming pattern of ‘AWIL’ is, a b b a b. however, ‘CUFTFF’ does not rhyme at all. The length of each verse can also be used to illustrate a difference between the poems. The verses of ‘AWIL’ seem to be organised to consist of five lines every time, whereas the verses of ‘CUFTFF’ do not appear to have a set number of lines; each verse has a random number of lines.