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Compare and contrast ‘My Box’ and ‘Valentine’. Explore the poets’ feelings about love. To conclude, say which you prefer and why.

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Introduction

English Coursework Task:- Compare and contrast 'My Box' and 'Valentine'. Explore the poets' feelings about love. To conclude, say which you prefer and why. 'My Box' and 'Valentine' are both written by two female poets, Gillian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy, respectively. They are both contemporary poems about love. Clarke has an idealistic perception of love while Duffy writes more metaphorically about and onion. She uses single isolated lines and words; there is no regular rhythm or rhyme scheme. 'My Box' does have a regular 8,6,8,6 rhythm and a rhyme scheme. Duffy portrays her strong feelings against the commercialism of Valentines Day in her poem; Clarke mentions nothing about it. Both of these poems contain effective imagery. Duffy uses an onion as an extended metaphor; she writes 'It is a moon wrapped in brown paper'. As the moon is associated with mystery it may be referring to a mysterious relationship or a mysterious lover. ...read more.

Middle

Clarke says in her poem that 'He made it out of winter nights' which makes us assume that it was made secretly in a cold shed in the garden for a birthday or surprise anniversary present of some kind. Another line that suggests that it is an anniversary present is the fact that it says 'In my box are twelve black books where I have written down' these could be diaries, one per month and the fact that there is twelve suggests it is a first anniversary present. Clarke uses many verbs in the second stanza like 'Written down' 'Harvested apples and words and days' 'Planted a garden' 'Built a wall' and 'drilled a well'. The 'Built a wall' pert of this stanza could imply that an ideal relationship like a wall needs to have strong foundations to survive. The 'Drilled a well' part could mean that the lover is looking for deeper meaning in their love and their relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

or them, when we are dead' this tells us that the box will be there containing the diaries and memories for generations to come. They may represent the legacy of a lifetime. Both of these poems contain sound effects like consonance. Consonance is included in 'Valentine' 'Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips' this repeats the -s- sound. There is also consonance in 'My Box' 'Sanded oiled and planed' this repeats the -ed- sound in the verbs and they are all words that signify the person making the box. Overall I prefer 'Valentine' because it is irregular and it uses many effective images. I like the way some words are isolated because it makes them outstanding and more important, it makes you try to thing what they mean. 'My Box' though is also a good poem. There is many effective images and lots of effective verbs used in the right place to symbolise things. The regular rhythm and rhyme scheme are also effective. -22nd December 2000- -William Eardley- ...read more.

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