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Duffy explores different kinds of relationships in ‘Valentine’ and ‘Before you were mine’. How does she reveal her thoughts and feelings about these relationships to the reader?

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Introduction

Duffy explores different kinds of relationships in 'Valentine' and 'Before you were mine'. How does she reveal her thoughts and feelings about these relationships to the reader? In 'Before you were mine', Duffy talks about the relationship between her and her mother, this relationship is very different from that of 'Valentine' when Duffy is explaining the meanings of love between two partners. In 'Valentine', Duffy uses the image of an onion to compare the love of two people. She comments on how, like love, an onion can 'blind you with tears' i.e. make your eyes water or cry. Later in the poem she talks about how the taste of an onion stays on the lips for a long time after you have eaten it 'it's fierce kiss will stay on your lips' - like a kiss from a lover. ...read more.

Middle

Both poems use language and structure to make the reader think. In line 14 of 'Valentine', Duffy uses the word 'Fierce' to describe the taste of an onion. The word sticks out from the poem as it is a harsh, angry term to use in an otherwise calmly-worded poem. This technique is used throughout the poem. In line 19, Duffy is describing the way that a partner will get closer to you as you continue with a relationship, and in the same way, as you get nearer the centre of an onion, the rings - i.e. wedding rings - get smaller and if you placed them on your finger - like a wedding ring - the more rings you took off the onion, the closer fit it would be. ...read more.

Conclusion

Duffy probably wrote the poem like this because it is the way that people speak, and the poem is written in the voice of someone talking to her mother, similarly, there is no rhythm in the text, for the same reason. 'Valentine' is written in a similar way to 'Before You Were Mine', as it also uses free verse. This is because, again, it is one person speaking to another, and that is how people speak to one another - without rhyme or rhythm. Although written in free verse, 'Valentine' still has a definite structure to it. The line 'I give you an onion' is repeated, for emphasis on it's importance in the poem - the extended metaphor used throughout the poem. Sorry Miss., I'm still a bit stuck with what to write after this - also, it's 22:34 :) ...read more.

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