The Lanyard And The Gift Comparison Essay

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Over the course of human history, a countless amount of poems have been written by a numerous amount of poets. With such a myriad of poetry, similarities between these literary works is inevitable; in the same vein, this guarantees a huge degree of diversity as well. Even with two poems that appear to be the same, one would likely find contrasting elements within them, and vice-versa. This can be related to life itself: many people go through the same types of condition but face different outcomes, or conversely, different circumstances with similar results. Two poems about like situations in life and their differing aftermaths are “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins and “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee. At face value, these poems tell quite comparable stories. Both of the poems have related themes and symbols, tones that are close yet disparate, and similar structures yet differing use of language.…show more content…
Both poems are reflective, as the speakers reminisce on a point in their past, but each poem conveys another different tone as well. In “The Lanyard,” this reflection is somewhat remorseful and regretful. The speaker wishes to tell his mom that even though he thought the lanyard he made at camp would make them even, “you can never repay your mother” (“Lanyard” 37). The speaker lists many of the things his mother has done for him, and compares them with the lanyard he made for her, implying that he feels he took her for granted. However, in “The Gift,” this reflection is very nostalgic and appreciative. The speaker describes the caring nature of his father and how this kindness passed down to him, as demonstrated by his loving treatment of his own wife. The speaker recalls the “two measures of tenderness” that were his father’s hands and “the flames of discipline / he raised above my head” (“Gift” 10-13). “The Gift” and “The Lanyard” are both reflective, but “The Gift” takes a more nostalgic turn while “The Lanyard” is more
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