valentine -carol ann duffy

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  • valentine
    • what is the poem about
      • the poem is about a person describing a gift for or from a lover, it explains how a gift was an onion and how that symbolises there love.
    • who is the persona
      • The persona is someone who is in a relationship, that they feel passionate about or that they have trouble connecting with.
      • It appears that the poem is about someone who doesn’t believe in the commercial side of love and by using the onion as a gift is them trying to get their lover to think about the real meaning of their relationship.
    • themes
      • Relationships = The persona wants their lover to reflect on their relationship and appreciate what it really means without the romantic connotations.
      • Love = Again, like the theme of relationships, the poem is trying the break the perception of commercial love, especially in the final stanza where it talks about marriage and why do we need to validate our love in the eyes of the law?
    • language
      • Structure of the poem = The stanzas aren’t in a consistent style and their lengths alter. This may represent the ups and downs of a relationship, or may even represent the subjective nature of the narrative’s voice. As love is a subjective thing and is individual to each person meaning that the scattered structure may represent the individuality of the subject matter.
      • “Not a cute card or a kissogram” & “Not a red rose or a satin heart.”
        • The use of the alliteration of “cute card” or “red rose” creates a plosive sound that makes it sound harsh, this consequently creates a resentful and sarcastic tone suggesting that the narrative voice disagrees with the ‘cute’ ideologies of capitalism’s concept of love.
      • “its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring, if you like. Lethal, its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife.”
        • The use of the tag question “if you like” conveys that the narrative voice is proposing to their lover, however does it in a tone that suggests that he doesn’t care for the idea. This is reinforced by the verb “shrinks” it creates a sense of claustrophobia and being cramped therefore representing marriage as trapping which therefore suggests that marriage may diminish love.


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