Literary Heritage 2201
27 October 2011
As Long as it’s a Love Letter
Deep love, passionate desire, and intriguing mystery are conveyed through the use of literary devices such as symbolism and metaphor in Kim Addonizio’s “First Poem for You” and William Meredith’s “The Illiterate” and aide in supporting the themes that intimate relationships can be both intriguing and frightening at the same time. Love is conveyed in “The Illiterate” through the simple idea of a letter. The letter is used to symbolize a woman. This man has never received a letter from anyone and therefore one can conclude that he has never been with a woman and is unsure and anxious to find out what the letter, or the woman, means. The letter in the poem is a symbol and also a metaphor for love and the beginning stages of becoming intimate with another person. The use of a man receiving a letter is a simple concept and therefore easy for the reader to understand. Creating a metaphor takes a potentially complicated situation filled with feelings and emotions and simplifies it into someone simply receiving a letter and not knowing what it means or how to read it. In the same way, the man’s tattoos in “First Poem for You” symbolize love and mystery. They are pictures on a man’s skin that represent his inner being without him having to show the woman who he is or wear his emotions on his sleeve. The woman is both intrigued and intimidated by his tattoos because they represent the idea of permanence. Therefore, she is frightened for the relationship to potentially become permanent though she is curious and intrigued. One can conclude that she desires to know more about the man but these tattoos seem to be one of the only things on the outside of the man that reveal something deeper on the inside. Though these are two different poems, the topics of love, desire, and mystery within them are very similar. The letters and the tattoos both work together to support the idea...
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