Love is not all

Topics: Sonnet, Emotion, Poetry Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: November 22, 2013

1. In today’s society, love is something everyone expects to behold in their lifetime. If someone veers from the stereotype of marriage, they are often ridiculed. But is love really a necessity in life? In Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “Love is not all” the persona conveys that love is not essential to survival, but that she would sacrifice everything in her life in order to preserve the love she shares with her significant other.

2. This poem is a sonnet which means it contains fourteen lines. It is written in iambic pentameter which includes five sets of unstressed and stressed syllable lines. Sonnets include three quatrains (four lines) and one couplet (two lines) that all have an independent idea. It can also be considered a lyric poem because it expresses emotional feelings or thoughts from the persona’s perspective. The tone of this poem is serious and honest, as it describes love first, in a realistic way, but later in an emotional way. The first quatrain introduces the idea that love is not all that is needed in life. Instead of describing the usual emotional, natural beauties of love, the poem surprisingly lists life’s essentials and states that love is not what you need to physically survive. It is obviously not food or water, or shelter from bad weather. The next two lines in the quatrain create a vivid picture in one’s mind; “Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink

​And rise and sink and rise and sink again”
This imagery paints the tragic scene of a man helplessly drowning in the middle of the ocean without any hope. This is showing that love is not anything tangible that can save anyone. Some of the stressed syllables are on “rise” and “sink” which creates a more dramatic feeling or mood. ​In the second quatrain, the poem shifts to describe bodily processes that are fatal if they are lacking. Breathing, filtering blood, fixing broken bones and other ailments in the body are crucial to life; without those, love could not begin to exist. The...
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