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Reflection of John Betjeman's, "a Subaltern's Love Song"

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Reflection of John Betjeman's, "A Subaltern's Love Song"

ENG 125 Introduction to Literature

Reflecting on poetry can give one a feeling of joy or sadness, insight or hope, depending on what the author is trying to achieve. After reading a poem written with detailed description and creatively chosen words, one can feel as though they were actually experiencing what the author has written. One example of a well-written, descriptive poem is John Betjeman's "A Subaltern's Love Song". This paper will describe the "reader response" approach; and using the "reader response" approach, will discuss the author's intentions in writing this poem and why this piece of work is appealing.

"A Subaltern's Love Song" is a beautiful poem written by John Betjeman. Two of the most captivating aspects of the poem are the tone and flow that the author achieved in his writing. Throughout the poem, the tone gives one a warm and blissful feeling. The author clearly loves Joan. Through the tone in the poem one can sense that he not only loves her but is in love with her. The author's description of how Joan moves and how the environment interacts with her, gives one the impression that he truly cares for her and that he is intrigued by her every movement. The flow of the poem is just as intriguing as the tone; from line to line and paragraph to paragraph, the entire poem flows so smoothly.

Another aspect of the poem that is intriguing would be the vividness within the authors writing. Throughout the poem, one can picture the couple, her graceful moves, the wonderful scent of conifers, the way in which the light hits Joan's hair. One paragraph that creates an extremely clear picture is paragraph five. The author is describing the smell in their room, the bath running, a night drink in his hand, while they prepare for their dance at the golf club (Clugston, 2010). What a vivid image this creates.

A Reader-Response Approach to writing an essay is an approach that an author uses to connect with his/her reader (Clugston, 2010). The author connects with the writer by finding a "personal line, imaginative entry into a story, poem, or play" (Clugston, R.W., pg. 16.2, para 2). However, an author should not use the Reader-Response approach all by itself when writing a critical essay. An author must validate their feelings within their writing.

In writing a Reader-Response Essay there are a number of connecting questions that can be used to develop the essay. One of the questions asks the author to think about what captured his/her imagination, how they were feeling or what their emotions were during the experience they are trying to write about (Clugston, 2010). Most of the connecting



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