The two poems, “Most Like an Arch This Marriage” by John Ciardi and “The Ache Of Marriage” by Denise Levertov depicts marriage as a union if two people based on mutual understanding and respect. Both poems depict that marriage is considered happy and successful when there is great love, mutual respect and understanding between the partners who are together both in bad and good times. Levertov concentrates on pain in marriage and burden. Thesis Both proems depict marriage as a unique based on personal commitment and understanding; still, Levertov underlines such feelings as pain and sufferings while Clardi concentrates on honesty and understanding in marriage.
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John Ciardi depicts marriage as a strong unity between two people. “Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean / into a strength” (Ciardi). There are other characteristics and features to be applied in marriage like improved communication between partners, feeling of responsibility, commitment to the family, honesty toward and admiration of each other, which are usually learnt from the very childhood within the family based on the example of our own parents. Similar to Ciardi, Denise Levertov states that the main goal of a successful marriage is to combine all these characteristics in a harmonious and fulfilling way. The poet writes: “We look for communion / and are turned away, beloved,/each and each” (Levertov). It is possible to achieve a successful marriage due to an open and trusty communication between the partners when there are no secrets and secrecy.
Both authors admit that the sensitivity of partners shows how open, tender, sensitive and loving a woman should be in order to comfort all family members and make them feel secured and loved within the family. However, a personality is a combination of unique characteristics with strong adaptability and character o, romanticism and eager for marital relations of spouses. Successful marriage requires a high degree of motivation, involvement and commitment to make it work by devoting required personal time and efforts. That is why, it is very important to consider those demands before the marriage in order to realize whether the person is ready to devote so much time and efforts to another person or not. If the person feels that he/she is not yet ready to make such commitment, it is better to postpone the marriage and give more time to the relations.
The main difference is that Levertov concentrates on pain and sufferings experienced by marriage people while Clardi speaks about positive emotions and communication. “Two joined abeyances become a term / naming the fact that teaches fact to mean” (Ciardi). Clardi says that such devotion should be perceived from three perspectives: commitment to yourself, commitment to each other, and commitment to the relationship of marriage and the family. Certainly, while making such commitment it is important to balance it with the personal autonomy and freedom. commitment to the marriage and family is something sacred between two married people who should cherish and protect their relations from any external negatives forces. Speaking about pain, Levertov underlines that only mutual commitment can make marriage successful, strong and prosperous. Certainly, each marriage presumes certain fulfilment of such individual needs as psychological, social, sexual and material. While it is merely impossible that all the needs of a person are satisfied within the marriage, some needs have to be met apart from the marriage. Moreover, fulfilment of such needs should be mutual. That is why, such fulfilment of needs are most possible if they are within the limits of realistic expectations without selfishness from either side. It is out of question that honesty is one of the main component of the successful relations in marriage since partners should completely trust each other in order to build a new family and make their relations and household strong and prosperous.
In sum, both poems tell that marriage partners should be confident that promises they made will be done, words they gave to each other will be followed, secrets they shared will be secured, etc. If to consider love as the basis of the relations and inspiration for marriage, then respect is the continuation of those relations, when partners are proud of each other’s achievements and successes, and respect partner’s individuality and personality.
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