Wendy Cope

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Human Pages: 3 (1053 words) Published: March 27, 2014

Looking for Someone to Love

Love is a basic human need that everyone encounters at least once, if not more, in his or her lifetime. There are different means to look for a future lover, whether it is through the Internet, or meeting someone coincidentally at a restaurant. Then there is also the idea of writing a personal ad in newspapers describing exactly what you seek for in a relationship. In Wendy Cope’s villanelle “Lonely Hearts,” there are individuals who have written ads describing themselves, as well as what they want in the other person. In Cope’s poem there is the use of tone, repetition, and rhyme that work together in order to illustrate the lonesome and desperate people who rely on newspaper ads to find love.

The title “Lonely Hearts” creates a tone of desperation that sets the scene of the villanelle to be a rather depressive one. The first line of the poem, “Can someone make my simple wish come true? (1)” is a question that entices the reader to think of how easy the search to find love truly is, although for the speaker it is quite the opposite. This line shows how desolate and hopeless the speaker feels as they find themselves writing an ad to search for some sort of human interaction, whether it be a relationship or just a friendship. “Executive in search of something new/Perhaps bisexual woman, arty, young” (7-8) further shows the tone of desperation because the speaker in this ad is a person who holds a prestigious job, and although money certainly isn’t an issue, lonesomeness is. This speaker has run out of ideas to find someone to spend time with and has resorted to writing a personal ad. The speaker is even willing to try out new things, such as being with a bisexual woman, even though it is unlike him, and hopes that maybe in trying something new, there will be an end to being single. In creating a tone of desperation, Cope accentuates the sadness that the speakers’ of the ads feel because they have resorted to the inhumane way of...


Cited: Cope, Wendy. “Lonely Hearts” Gioia and Kennedy 61.
Gioia, Dana, and X. J. Kennedy, eds. An Introduction to Poetry. 13th ed. New York: Pearson
Longman, 2010. Print.
"Villanelle | Define Villanelle at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and
Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. .
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