Modern Day Valentine's

573 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
The poem is essentially a critique of the cliched commercial form that the modern Valentine's Day has become. More generally it is also critical of a form of 'love' which lacks honesty, meaning, and use of the imagination. Duffy uses the symbol of an onion to represent a truly meaningful gift for one's lover. This is the opposite of the "cute card or a kissogram"(l.12). The poem asks the reader to evaluate not only this view of love, but also his or her conception of Valentine's Day in particular and love in general; this conception may have become accepted without question. The structure of the poem has been skilfully manipulated to emphasise Duffy's key points. Important ideas have been deliberately highlighted by isolating them in the form of one line verse paragraphs. We also have the run on line (enjambment) used again to create smooth flow downward. Lastly, we have the use of a form of dialogue; the narrator is speaking to her lover, but he does not reply. This serves to give us the effect of a dialogue without the strictly correct dramatic format. It is a distinctly one-sided dialogue which expresses the perspective of the narrator and perhaps invites the reader to enter the debate. Analysis: "I give you an onion" - immediately a strange thing to give someone; usually associated with repelling people/ unromantic in the extreme - think of what happens when you eat onions. Not a red rose or satin heart." - symbols of the cliched commercial and, according to Duffy,

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