In both Robert Bridges “EPOS” and Anne Stevenson’s “Eros”, the authors both describe the Greek god of love; Eros. The authors depict how the god of love does whatever he can for the love of humans. While Bridge’s poem depicts Eros more as an object of ultimate beauty, Stevenson’s poem shows Eros as a beaten up, worn out immortal. Through the use of imagery, diction, under an ironic scope allow for the authors to show Eros as more than just a pretty face and lover, but also one that might be in seek of love. Eros in these two poems is seemingly two different Eros.
In Bridge’s poem, the imagery works seamlessly to illustrate how cupid is beautiful yet lonely. “An image of eternal truth”, the author believes that Eros is the example of the type of beauty one should aspire for.”None who e’er long’d for thy grace” shows that Eros has helped many people fall in love and have love, yet he himself has not found a mate for himself. Everyone wants to use Eros for their personal gain but don’t want to help him out. However in Stevenson’s poem, Eros is not the ideal image of perfection, but rather the image of with love has done to him throughout the ages; and even what love does to those who overuse it for physical pleasures rather than the whole concept of love. Yet it is Stevenson’s irony in his poem that reveals that the “thug” with the “broken nose” is not only Eros but representative of individuals who perhaps could be our true lovers. But because of their physical conditions we shun them and have judgments against them. But it is when that happens that we end up like the Eros of Bridges; beautiful yes but also very lonely.
The diction provides the basis for the authors to get the point across to the reader that people really don’t have a real understanding for the true meaning of love. Bridge’s poem is one that says how it is the physical aspect of love that many have gone after. This carries over into Stevenson’s poem where Eros appears to be beaten. “Hath cared to look upon thy face”, these words are from Bridges and clearly show that the observer or the one in love was only paying attention to the body not the face with also encapsulates one’s mind. However, the words used in the final stanza of Stevenson’s poem make it appear that Eros loves what he does because he is willing to suffer physical damage to see humans love. Stevenson is also depicting the love between individuals who are not only focused on mere physical beauty but other aspects of a person where because of this unselfish act they may indeed have love that wont “rot”.
According to Bridges’ poem a want of the physical inhibits the growth of true love and causes loneness. Is it not ironic how the most beautiful is the loneliest of the entire multitude? Therefore the two poets show that it is lust not love that drives some individuals and that lust is what ultimately deprives them of a love that is strong and long lasting. Two Eros, two ways to look for love.