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Carol Ann Duffy explores different types of relationships in 'Valentine' and 'Before you were mine

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1Carol Ann Duffy explores different types of relationships in 'Valentine' and 'Before you were mine The title of the poem 'Valentine' written by Carol Ann Duffy is very misleading. If you see it you would expect the poem t be about romantic love, but she writes about cynical love. This tells the readers that she has been hurt by previous relationships. The poem starts off with a positive statement-'Not a red rose, or a satin heart'. She's saying that she's not going to give the typical valentine present. The harsh consonants give a feeling of harshness. She has instead chosen to give her lover an onion. She uses the onion to symbolize love. Like a person we never really know what a person is really intending. She uses a metaphor to put across this idea. 'I give you an onion, it is moon wrapped in brown paper,' She creates an air of mystery is. 'It promises light, like the careful undressing of love.' She uses alliteration to create a smooth sound. ...read more.


'I'm 10 years away from the corner that you laugh on with your pals'. She imagines her mum's life, she is young, carefree and without any responsibility. She enjoys the company of her friends, as they shriek with laughter. 'The three of you bend waist hold each other on you knees and shriek at the pavement' She imagines her mum in a polka-dot dress, which was typical of the time. In her mind she imagines the late Marilyn Munroe out of a scene from the film 'Some like it hot'. 'A polka-dot dress blows round your legs, Marilyn'. The names Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff suggest they are ordinary working-class, girls that like to have fun. The poet continues to think about her mum's carefree days. 'I'm not here yet' Her mum doesn't know what future is ahead of her. 'The thought of you does not occur'. She hasn't even begun to think about her future, she is living for the present. Her mum enjoys herself at 'dances in the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy movie tomorrows.' ...read more.


The poet yearns to be the young girl from the past 'even then... Portobello' the glam image will never fade. She uses alliteration to show that her mums' qualities are time less. 'The glamorous... You were mine.' The two poems are very different to each other. 'Before you were mine' was based on a mutual relationship between mum and her child whilst 'Valentine' is about a love relationship that has gone horribly wrong and has left one of the lovers stranded in an emotional state, which cannot be resolved. She will always have a close bond with her mother. Whatever happens they will always be there for each other. But when you are dating other people you never know what their true intentions are. You can never spend enough time with some one to get to know their true personality that they are holding back. She idolizes and adores her mother, she looks up to her and has done ever since she was a child, and this is why she loves her. On the other hand she loves her lover because she wants to get to know that person. She finds them interesting and different. ...read more.

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