The Importance of Language in Clare Rossini’s Final Love Note and Louise Gluck’s Mock Orange

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The Importance of Language in Clare Rossini’s Final Love Note and Louise Gluck’s Mock Orange

Love is such an abstract concept for the human mind to figure out. Along with the love of a mother for her child, there are many types of sensual love or brotherly love; friendship is frequently described as a type of love, as well. This abstraction can also be distorted and made to fit into categories that would normally be associated with negativity and abuse not "love." Think of why a woman will continually go back to an abusive spouse with the irrational reason that "he loves me." If he loved you, he wouldn't beat you…Would he? In a poem, the confusion seems only to extend, as writers will describe a beautiful event that is tainted by a
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The word "wanton" is the first of three words that she uses in this poem that dramatically affect the tone of the poem. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "wanton" as being unruly, rebellious, and unmanageable. This definition is followed by another that has a relatively different meaning which is to describe someone or something that is dainty, fastidious, and playful. To place these definitions inside the poem, the reader can come out with two separate meanings to these first lines. One could take the first, which would mean that this relationship is peaceful and manageable. It is not out of control. By the second definition, however, the relationship is also not dainty, fastidious, or playful.

To apply these definitions to the surface meaning of the poem makes sense, because a tree could not be playful or out of control. However, if a reader were to apply it to an intimate relationship, the relationship seems to have lost its luster. Perhaps, the participants are no longer as exciting as they once were. Rossini describes the tree's silence during the winter and continues with vivid imagery of "the slugs ate the yellow hearts/ Right out of my lilies, while you, elm, died on" (lines 11-12). This line gives an extremely emotional visualization of having your heart eaten out, figuratively, by someone that you love.

Rossini's word choice in the next to last paragraph gives an even stronger impression that she is using the tree as a

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