A Short Analysis of Charlotte Mew’s ‘A Quoi Bon Dire’

A critical analysis of a tender poem of love and death

Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was a popular poet in her lifetime, and was admired by fellow poets Ezra Pound and Thomas Hardy, among others; the latter helped to secure a Civil List pension for Mew in 1923. ‘A Quoi Bon Dire’ was published in Charlotte Mew’s 1916 volume The Farmer’s Bride. The French title of this poem, ‘A Quoi Bon Dire’, translates as ‘what good is there to say’. And what good is there to say about this short poem? We think it’s a beautiful example of early twentieth-century lyricism, and so below we’ve shared the poem, along with a short analysis of it.

Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
But I.

So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you.

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A Short Analysis of Charlotte Mew’s ‘I so liked Spring’

A critical reading of a beautiful poem

Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was a popular poet in her lifetime, and was admired by fellow poets Ezra Pound and Thomas Hardy, among others. Most closely aligned with the ‘Georgian poets’ who flourished in the pre-WWI years in Britain, shortly before the advent of literary modernism, Mew was a fine writer of short lyrics – poems which require little close analysis to be enjoyed, though a few words of commentary may help to point out certain linguistic and technical features. ‘I so liked Spring’ beautifully encapsulates the best of her plain, wistful style.

I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here; –
The thrushes too –
Because it was these you so liked to hear –
I so liked you.

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A Short Analysis of Charlotte Mew’s ‘The Farmer’s Bride’

A summary and analysis of Charlotte Mew’s classic poem, written by Dr Oliver Tearle

Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was admired by writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, and Ezra Pound. Her poem ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ was first published in The Nation in 1912 and remains one of her most popular poems – even though the name ‘Charlotte Mew’ has not endured the way that those of her admirers, named above, have. Here is ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ along with a brief summary and analysis of it.

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