Compare and Contrast of “Rock me to sleep” and “Out Where the West Begins”


Both poems, although different in their literary expression and style have a common theme; loneliness.


“Rock me to sleep” displays the author’s loneliness via motherly love and the lack thereof.


Mother, dear mother, the years have been long


Since I last listened your lullaby song:


The author associates the absence of mother’s lullaby, the comfort and love which a mother provides to her child (of any age), to the loneliness and alienation which she is currently living.


By contrast, “Out where the West Begins” addresses the same issues however gives a more hopeful approach. This poem talks about a place, designated the “west” where things are better. Although the same themes of alienation and loneliness are apparent, the difference here is that this poem gives us a resolution whereas the first poem gives us false hopes, or a resolution via nostalgia and memories.


Hope is another strong emotion which resiliates from both these works. In both instances, both authors are looking to and hoping to resolve their alienation. The second poem, however, gives a more realistic and tangible resolution, whereas the first one simply compounds the alienation with nostalgia and distant lost memories.