Valentine - Carol Ann Duffy

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  • Valentine
    • Love
      • title
        • the title, "Valentine" seems to suggest that the poem is addressed to the speakers Valentine, creating the instant idea in the readers mind that the poem will be about love
      • structure and form
        • the poem seems to follow an unconventional and original structure, being that there are many single lines at points in the poem, possibly relating to the unconventional and different gift she gives her Valentine
        • the four larger stanzas seem to follow a pattern of the onion firs being portrayed as a positive and then as a negative in the following stanza, this is repeated twice, which could possibly symbolise her conflicting emotions towards her Valentine
      • "it promises light/like the careful ********** of love"
        • this metaphor seems to create an image of the onion being a symbol of her love,
      • "I amtrying to be truthful."
        • single line in centre of poem creates the idea of it being undeniable
        • the word "trying" seems to suggest that she is trying to, but cannot be truthful, this could also explain the back and forth between portraying the onion positively and negatively.
      • "Lethal."
        • shows the speakers belief that love can be a weapon and is dangerous, illustrates the intensity of love
      • "It will make your reflection/ a wobbling photo of grief."
        • onions make you cry, love makes you cry, when it goes wrong, shows the speakers pessimistic idea of love
    • Context
      • published when Duffy was 15
      • she believes that it is important for poets to describe and celebrate love
      • duffy believes that love is one of the most intense and important human experiences
      • duffy's poetry is often focussed on love or written from the perspective of disturbed characters
    • Negative Emotions
      • "It will blind you with tears"
        • the speaker switches quickly from a joyous image love, to one of sorrow and sadness
      • "a wobbling photo of grief"
        • the loss of love is equivalent to death in the speakers opinion
      • structure and form
        • the larger stanzas, of which they are four, have a pattern of the first and third positively depicting love and the second and last negatively portraying love
          • shows how love always ends in negativity and heartbreak
      • "It's scent will cling to your fingers,/ cling to your knife."
        • the final lines of the poem seem to be the darkest of all, with en even slightly threatening ending


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