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Valentine Essay

819 words - 4 pages


Choose a poem which explores the theme of love.

Show how the poet’s exploration of the subject appeals to you emotionally and/or intellectually and helps you gain a deeper understanding.

An example of a poem which explores the subject of tenderness is “Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy. In it the Speaker gives their lover “an onion” as a Valentine’s gift. The poet uses the onion as a symbol to describe love and shows us, through this extended metaphor, how it is a more appropriate and honest representation than traditional Valentine ’s Day gifts. This poem appeals to the reader intellectually and emotionally in several ways. The poet uses specific language structures ...view middle of the document...

The word “light” has connotations of radiance, brightness and suggest hope.

Duffy develops this extended metaphor later to reveal the more negative side of love.

“It will blind you with tears
like a lover.”

The metaphor “blind you with tears” refers, on one level, to the effect of onions when they are peeled or cut: they makes us cry. Further analysis of this comparison reveals another layer: Duffy wants us to understand that, like an onion, love too can make you cry. The poet then incorporates the simile “like a lover” and communicates the idea that lovers can also make people cry. The word “blind”, when taken literally, highlights how hard it is to see when you’re crying. A deeper look at this metaphor shows us Duffy’s true message, that love can stop us seeing faults and people’s ability to hurt us. Cupid makes lovers blind to each other’s’ faults. Instead we only see what we want to see. This honest treatment of the subject appeals to the reader emotionally because it presents a fuller, richer picture of all the experiences of being in love.

Duffy chooses an effective verse form to communicate the direct, heartfelt tone of the speaker. The poem is written in free verse which conveys an impression of...

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