MIRRORS HOLIDAY ASSIGNMENT The poems discuss the issue of mirrors portraying the truth but the persona is unwilling to accept the truth. Whilst Poem A deals with the reluctance to acknowledge the outward beauty of human, Poem B deals with the reluctance to acknowledge the inner beauty that makes up a person. Poem A has a tone that is of more reminiscing whereas Poem B is written in a tone with much negativity and condemning.
Poem A and B are similar in showing that mirror shows the process of ageing. In Poem A, ‘in me, she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old women’. The mirror has been with the persona since she was young, as ‘each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness’, and now, ‘Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.’ This portrays the woman ageing as the mirror had watched her grow from a child. The poet in Poem B uses comparison to show the ageing, ‘No more a flashing eye’ and ‘now some slave’s eye, voice, hands, step’. This shows a change, and hence able to depict ageing as the person in front of the mirror is not longer an eye candy, instead, has changed to look weary. The usage of figurative images like ‘fish’ and ‘slave’s eye’ in both poem A and B respectively, shows the differences and contrast from the past, hence bringing forth the idea of ageing.
Poem A and B are also similar in showing the mirror’s truthful nature. In Poem A, “I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions”. Words like ‘exact’ and ‘no preconceptions’ show the truthful nature of the mirror. This shows the unbiased nature of the mirror as it does not take sides and just merely reflects whatever that if feels, unlike humans who tend to take sides and practice biasness. Furthermore, as discussed in the earlier paragraph, the mirror had been with its owner for a very long time, and even though ‘I see her back, and reflect it faithfully’. The mirror continues to remain loyal to the owner and continues to mirror the truth. In Poem B, ‘Outside fair costume- within ashes and filth’, this shows that the mirror reflects not only the outward appearances of the owner, but also inward character of the user. This characteristic hence shows that the mirror is honest as it does not want to deceive the owner and allow the owner to carry on living in a sham.
Poem A and B also reveal the unwillingness to accept the reality of ageing. In Poem A, the woman is reluctant to acknowledge herself ageing as ‘she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon’. Candles and moon give off a dim light hence, it shows that the woman is unwilling to recognize that she is getting old and would rather turn to these items as they are not telling the truth and would hence allow her to disregard her age. The woman also ‘rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands’. This could be referring to the woman seeking different medical help in order to regain her youth. The woman is caught up in despair because she is growing old and is unwilling to accept it. In Poem B, ‘HOLD it up sternly! See this it sends back!’ this shows that the persona is not willing to accept herself ageing and is turned off by it as her own reflection as it sends her back.
Poem A and B are different in terms of the tone. Poem A is reminiscing about the past as the mirror had spent along time with the woman and still continues to serve her loyally as ‘each morning its her face that replaces the darkness’. This shows that the mirror treats the woman as its companion. The sentence structure in Poem A is also short. ‘I am important to her.’ ‘She comes and goes’. This reflects the melancholy of the mirror as the sentences are short and abrupt. This portrays a feeling of walking down the memory lane as the mirror recalls itself serving the owner faithfully yet the owner is rejecting the truth now. Poem B in this case, is in a condemning tone and the words used are more harsh and negative like ‘rotting’ and ‘poisonous’. The sentence structure in Poem B is more of listing, which suggests anger as the sentences are long and have more harsh and negative connotation.
Poem B is more effective because it shows more struggle the persona faces with the usage of the negative words which emphasizes on the persona’s displeasure towards ageing. Poem A however, does not show the struggle that the persona is facing as it is written from the point of view of the mirror, which only paints the picture that the mirror is upset that the owner has disregarded truth. Poem B however shows that the mirror has reflected all of the flaws and has listed it out. Hence, poem B is more effective.