Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare and Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

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The two poems “Sonnet 130” and “Valentine” present similar ideas about love, though they are written centuries apart. Sonnet 130 (written by William Shakespeare) is like a love poem turned on its head. Instead of describing her in a positive light, he criticise her physical features. He describes the flaws of her body, her smell, even the sound of her voice. Then, at the end, he changes his tune and tells us about his real and complete love for her. Valentine (written by Carol Ann Duffy) describes a gift for a lover; such as you would give on Valentine’s Day. It is a rather unusual present – an onion. The poem explains why it is a powerful gift of love, much more than the clichéd roses or box of chocolates. The onion becomes a metaphor for love, and so the poem is about love as well as Valentine gifts.
Both of the poems are quite cynical about the old-fashioned presentation of love. The moods of the poems portray a dark but realistic version of love and they try to tell you that you shouldn’t go over-the-top with love and be all lovey-dovey. They both feel the physical features are not what you should be judged on, but the characteristics and actual person itself. They are both truthful and as a result can be quite critical and harsh in tone. Valentine shows this when Carol Ann Duffy says that the onion is a “wobbling photo of grief,” she is being very blunt and trying to tell us that when you open up the onion, it will make it cry. This is like a metaphor for the juice,

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