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A Comparison Of Love Poems Essay

2691 words - 11 pages

I am going to compare three different poems: "My Box" by Gillian Clarke, "Valentine" by Carol Ann Duffy and "Shall I compare Thee...?" (Sonnet 18) by William Shakespeare. In my essay I will discuss the language, images, style, rhythm and many other aspects used to construct each of the poems.The modern poem "My Box" written by Gillian Clarke, in essence, is about a gift of a box from a man to a woman. The first line 'my box is made of golden oak, my lover's gift to me´. Clarke introduces characters, the lover and the narrator. 'He fitted hinges and a lock of brass and a bright key. ´ This line has a sort of naivety about it because it is made up of monosyllables, also, when read ...view middle of the document...

For instance 'built a wall´ would be; perhaps, they had bought their own home. 'Planted a golden tree´ would be to signify life; perhaps they had children and prospered.In the third stanza, it is obvious that Clarke is writing as an older matured person, because it tackles death. 'On an open shelf I keep my box. Its key is in the lock´ this means that the box is accessible to those who want to read it. Therefore the black books are to be read by people so they'll know how much the couples devotion and love for each other.'I leave it there for you to read, or them, when we are dead, ´ the 'you´ mentioned in the line is directed to her husband, and 'Them´ is possibly directed to the children to enable them to re-live their memories once they are dead.'How everything is slowly made', is probably referring to the relationship and how it took a long time to make it 'real´. 'How slowly things made me, a tree, a lover, words, a box, books and a golden tree. ´ She is saying how all these things have made her a person. 'A tree´ stands for a possible family tree, having stability in her life. 'A lover´ means the good and bad experiences that couples generally have. 'Words´ are what you say to people and how they affect you and them. In the last stanza it also says that 'words´ were harvested. 'A box´ represents her whole life with her partner, and her experiences. 'Books´ are the twelve books that she has written in which shows her memories. The 'Golden tree´ is the core of the poem, it is a metaphor for love and how it was nurtured from a seed, faces the good and bad experiences and how it flourishes into something beautiful.Throughout the poem, it seems that the poet intentionally shows the woman to ageing. At the beginning of the poem, Clarke writes as if the woman is young in the relationship. In the second stanza, it is as though the woman has got married and has had children. Then the last stanza is like the end of the woman's life, but certainly not the end of the relationship because she believes that her experiences will live on through the books. I feel that the poet is trying to portray that life is short but memories will always outlive them."Valentine" a contemporary poem written by Carol Ann Duffy, is a poem using an extended metaphor about a gift of an onion to her lover. The poem opens with the negative line, 'Not a red rose or a satin heart. ´ Already, from this first line of the poem, the readers know the poem is going to be negative because it starts with 'not´. The first line is not part of a stanza so I feel the poet has done this for emphasis and effect. The poem starts by telling you what it isn't, and then what it is.'I give you an onion. ´ Duffy here is deliberately being original in her gift of an onion, as an onion is not usually associated with a love poem so it catches the reader's attention immediately. 'It is a moon...

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