• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy is an irregular poem with a direct tone. The language is very simple and gets straight to the point.

Extracts from this document...


"Valentine" by Carol Ann Duffy Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy is an irregular poem with a direct tone. The language is very simple and gets straight to the point. The title suggests love as Valentines Day is a day to celebrate love on the 14th of February 'Not a red rose or a satin heart, I give you an onion', The reader is immediately taken back by the randomness and obscurity of this Valentine's Day gift. An onion is a cooking ingredient, not at all something special or beautiful worth giving a lover as a special present. The first line is negative, this person's lover will not receive a rose or a soft heart, they will get an onion. There is a very big contrast here. The second line is very humorous, and not very romantic. An onion could represent a lot of things. An onion is very ordinary, a lot like a real relationship, with normal problems. ...read more.


we are talking about real, ordinary love: 'For as long as we are' This sentence is used to show that not all relationships last forever, this line is very honest, it prepares us for the harsh reality. In the sixth stanza, Duffy uses the language of a wedding as she offers her onion gift: "I give you an onion" sounds like "I give you a ring". She uses words like "faithful" and "for as long as we are" to refer to the length of time the relationship will last. Duffy states that the taste and scent of an onion are like the passion of love. An onion is a good symbol for passion because its taste remains with you: "stay on your lips" An onion is not sweet like a "red rose" but it is savoury. Its taste lingers. When a relationship fails, bitter feelings remain so this is a good comparison with an onion. ...read more.


Knives are used to cut onions, and are capable of "causing" the wound that love makes-a broken heart. This stanza upsets your expectations of love. It stops you from thinking that there's always a happy ending. It shows you that love can be perfect, but one unexpected day it will turn and leave a 'scent' on you. Maybe the writer wants the reader to feel that love can scar, it might not ever go away, just like Valentines Day. I feel that Duffy manages to convey, what some would feel to be, a brutally honest opinion of love. Duffy uses images of conventional tokens of affection (e.g. a red rose, cute card, satin heart) ironically and contrasts this with an "onion" - a new unique symbol shows the honest representation of love. The poet compares the onion's physical resemblance to a "moon" - another image which is associated with love and romance. Duffy tries to be "truthful", admitting that love and the onion, will "blind you with tears like a lover" - "its fierce kiss will stay on your lips". ?? ?? ?? ?? Scott Ryan-Mitchell ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How do poets create the illusion of the speaking voice? Write about Carol Ann ...

    3 star(s)

    This gives us the impression that this speaker wants to fit in with the other children at school, so does not give people who are from a different nationality a chance, or the respect they deserve. He tells us of his plans to emigrate, giving the impression that he wants to escape.

  2. Carol Ann Duffys Valentine is an original and intriguing poem. Initially, the poem appears ...

    The speaker has given their lover an onion as they consider it an original, thoughtful gift. The onion is used as an extended metaphor for love throughout the poem, as it is an idea Duffy returns to. This metaphor and argument is realistic and convincing: an onion has many layers (or aspects)

  1. "Comprehensive" By Carol Ann Duffy - review

    Michelle says-"she won't let me do nothing". This suggests she doesn't have as much independence as she would like, but she uses her mum's ill health as an excuse. In fact she just doesn't want to work. Stanza five is unusual, because unlike the other stanzas in the poem, an event occurs instead of characters expressing their thoughts and feelings.

  2. Distortions of Reality

    Under a clear sky he cannot see himself clearly. Humbert's arrival at the Haze household marks the beginning of his most powerful obsession: Lolita Haze. The name "Haze" is an intentional play-on-words that Nabokov uses to emphasize the obscured perception and confused state of mind that she causes Humbert.

  1. Critical Evaluation The Ballad of Billy Rose

    This meant that he was just standing there with his head looking upwards, while thousands of people moved around him. There was something about this man that made the poet feel as if he knew him, "despite his pathetic clothes," which gives us the impression that he might not have a lot of money to spend on clothes.

  2. How is a sinister tone created in Carol Ann Duffy's 'Havisham'?

    The man she so loved, she is now wishing death upon. This conveys Havisham as a heartless and conniving person. To wish someone dead is disgustingly disturbing and not something someone of a normal state of mind would do, these ideas all conclude Miss Havisham as being very unpleasant.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work