Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

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Valentine
Valentine

By Carol Ann Duffy
By Carol Ann Duffy

Valentine is a love poem written by Carol Ann Duffy. Throughout the poem she compares love to an onion. She does this by using different techniques such as imagery , word structure and of course by using poetic devices. All these techniques help her make this poem so special and unusual, and it helps her to describe her own points of view about love.

‘Not a red rose or a satin heart.’ Is the first line of the poem. The poet creates a contradiction by contrasting the romantic poem style of the title with a negative in the opening line. We think that she wants to tell her own Valentine not to expect anything romantic . Then she goes on by offering something very surprising, something which you wouldn’t expect; an onion. In the following lines she sets out why she thinks an onion is a good gift.

‘It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love.’ The ‘brown’ paper is the outer skin of the onion; the comparison also supports the idea of a gift. The reference to the ‘moon’ is common in romantic poetry, it ‘promises light’ like the moon and perhaps, like the optimism at the beginning of a new relationship. She also tries to warn people that they don’t need to trust people too fast in the promises a partner makes in the relationship. ‘ The careful undressing of love’ tells that a person’s character may be revealed in a matter of time and then you get to really know him or her. This can have a negative or an positive effect on the relationship.

In the 2nd sentence of the 2ndstanza a simile is used; ‘It will blind you with tears like a lover’. Just like an onion makes you cry and make you blind of the pain, love can do the same thing to you. It can make you blind and it can make you cry. ‘It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief.’ Here, a metaphor is used. A wobbling photo of grief is compared to a mirror , so a metaphor is used....
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