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Discuss how the poets Carol Ann Duffy and Christina Rosetti treat the theme of love in their poems, Valentine and Remember.

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Introduction

Discuss how the poets Carol Ann Duffy and Christina Rossetti treat the theme of love in their poems 'Valentine' and 'Remember.' Carol Ann Duffy is a contemporary Scottish poet who was born in Glasgow in 1955. She is in the prime of her career. Her poem 'Valentine' is a dramatic but unique poem that likens love to an onion. Christina Rossetti was born in England in 1830 and died in 1894 at the age of 64. 'Remember' is her most famous poem and is often recited at funerals. It is more of a traditional love poem however it is sad and more depressing than you would expect of one. Christina was known for her downheartedness and this came through in her poetry. Traditionally love is referred to as something great, which lasts forever, something that can conquer any diversity or challenge. It is powerful yet gentle and comforting when you're in your moment of weakness. However we all know there's more to it than just 'happily ever after.' Carol Ann Duffy also knew there is much more to love than 'happily ever after' and portrays this in her poem 'Valentine' very well which is a dramatic monologue. ...read more.

Middle

It might continue to hurt you long after the relationship is over. The tone of the poem is urgent and direct. Within this poem Carol Ann Duffy has stripped the meaning of love down to the core. I mean this in the sense that she has clearly discarded clich�s like moonlit walks because she knows they have no relevance to the true meaning of love, "Not a rose or satin heart." "Possessive and faithful as we are, for as long as we are," this statement shows she knows love can be temporary and it's a big achievement if you can make it last and maintain the same passion. It is obvious why this poem is unconventional. The very fact that she is giving her valentine an onion as a gift tells you everything you need to know! Especially when usually love poems are full with joy and roses, you wouldn't expect a love poem to be depressing in the slightest and yet Carol Ann Duffy has managed in her love poem. The overall message of 'Valentine' is that love is not just what the commercialism of Valentines Day has tried to create. There are many sides to it, 'layers' if you will, that together if conquered can make something unbreakable in both a positive and negative way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Christina Rossetti is trying to show that life does go on when or if you loose a loved one. That even if you feel bad for forgetting that person you once held so close, it's the only way to move on. I suppose it also shows an unconditional side to love. She is ready and accepting of the fact that she must be forgotten in order for her love to be happy again. I believe that Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'Valentine' is the most effective love poem. As unconventional as it is, it makes you think about love in different ways, no other poem would, "It is a moon wrapped in brown paper." This is a particularly effective metaphor because like the moon love promises light in life. It is an amazing thing if you can get it but it isn't realised as it should be. The reader is at first shocked at the idea that love is anything like an onion but by the end of the poem your eyes have been opened to how much they have in common. The way that Carol Ann Duffy was able to write this poem so successfully, and clearly state her view on love in such a pictorial way, shows that she has true talent and a very real understanding of the true nature of love. ...read more.

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