Attitude Towards Love in Valentine and The Flea Essay

1660 Words7 Pages
Through Close Analysis of Language, Structure and Theme, Compare and
Contrast the Poet's Attitude Towards Love in Valentine and The Flea.

The two poems "Valentine" and "The Flea" are about the two different ways in which the poets portray their views about love, however the poems are still linked in a few ways. "The Flea was published in the seventeenth century and was written by 'John Donne'. "Valentine" was published in 1983 and was written by 'Carol Ann Duffy'. Both poems are addressed to an unknown lover.

The poem "Valentine" is written in free-verse form. Carol Ann Duffy could have used this irregular pattern because of the irregular present that she is giving to her lover.

"Not a red rose or satin heart. I give you
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This could be the link between the onion and love that is being developed in the poem. This is also one of only four cases of enjambment in this poem. The writer obviously wants the lines to flow into each other here maybe so it is like when tears are flowing down your face.

Duffy then explores the idea of truth behind the relationship, quite the opposite of what John Donne believes of in his relationship.

" I am trying to be truthful."

The writer obviously wants her lover to know the real meaning of love, not his stereotypical view. Duffy also wants to emphasise the fact of how irregular her present is and it should be thought of.

"Not a cute card or kissogram."

She doesn't want him to receive the normal presents off her; she knows that he would just be expecting that and he wouldn't even think about the meaning of the normal presents. She wants to shock her lover with her present to make sure that the he understands the meaning of why she is giving him a present for Valentine's Day - to offer a gift to your true love and emphasise how much you care about them.

Duffy then repeats the first line of her poem again in the middle of the poem. "I give you an onion."

She is repeating the line to emphasise the meaning of the present, or it could be to start a different part of the poem, a different attitude towards love. Then there is a contrast with a line in the first stanza.

"Its fierce kiss will stay on your

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