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Valentine Analysis

  • Submitted by: Hamoodi
  • on December 20, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,062 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Valentine Analysis" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Valentine: Poem

Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
5 like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your refl ection
10 a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fi erce kiss will stay on your lips,
15 possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.
Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
20 if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fi ngers,
cling to your knife.
Carol Ann Duffy


The poem “Valentine” written by the present poet laureate in the UK, Carol Ann Duffy, subverts the idealized and universal idea of love and projects the dual nature of its essence. She rejects the gifts conventionally associated with Valentine’s Day, such as ‘red-rose’, ‘satin cloth’, ‘cute card’, ‘kissogram’ but by bringing a Copernican revolution with the option of ‘Onion’ as a gift which we find in the second line as “I give you an onion”.
The poem commences with a negative note “not a red rose” to slash the traditional offering of rose or satin cloth on Valentine’s Day. This is indeed to portray the idea that love is not to be taken as a bed of roses always, but to accept the thorns we find underneath the roses. Love has joyful and sorrowful nature.
Carol gives the image of onion to love. She compares onion (metaphor of love) to a moon, which is wrapped up in a brown paper (skin of an onion). Moonlight is the conventional symbol of romance. Onion, described as moon, throws light on the characters of lovers, to discover the true nature of each other as they begin to relate with one another. The words “careful undressing of love” refers to the above idea. The different layers of the onion are like the layers of someone’s personality. Beauty is just skin deep, but discovery of true character deepens one’s love. Carol...

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