How does the poem "change upon change" by elizabeth barett browning relate to the concept of change

Essay by supwillis May 2004

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The theme Change Upon Change by Elizabeth Barett Browning is love lost. The central character of the poem reminisces about his life five months ago. The poet uses the change in season to refer to the emotions of the character "and slow, slow as the winter snow the tears have drifted to mine eyes". As the poem continues the emotions of the character turn with the season. Change Upon Change shows using very emotive techniques, how hard it is to lose the love in your life. Elizabeth Barett Browning has written the poem using words that were used more typically in Elizabethan times and are not really employed widely in normal poems. This style of writing is used by her because this language was most common in love poems. Some words at the end of the lines do rhyme "enow", "thou" and "mute", "root". This creates a flowing effect onto the next row and achieves a link between the lines of the poem.

Change upon change is a carefully constructed poem about "love proved false and frail" and its consequences.

The title of this poem expresses change in itself. "Change Upon Change" refers to the layering and continuous adjustments that come from one change. In this case, the title is referring to the loss of a relationship to the breakdown of the character. In the first six lines of the text the poem is in the past tense. The character is remembering back to the days five months ago when her life was much happier. This is communicated through the description of the surroundings at the time. "Five months ago the stream did flow, the lilies bloomed within the sedge, and we were lingering to and fro, where none will track thee in this snow, along the stream,