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In Mrs Tilscher’s class and Valentine

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In Mrs Tilscher's class and Valentine Subject Matter Mrs Tilscher's class The poet is remembering a year in primary school when she was in the class of a teacher called Mrs Tilscher. This is the title of the poem. She remembers a particular lesson (Geography) and a typical break time. This is mentioned in stanza one. Valentine The title tells you that the poem is a Valentine - a gift of love - but straight away, the poem makes it clear that it is not normal type of Valentine: Not a red rose or a satin heart. This is mentioned in stanza 1 line 1. She gives her love an onion as a sign of her love and the promised light that they could share. This is mentioned in stanza 2 lines 2 and 5. She explains why the gift is so apt, using original romantic images. This is mentioned in stanza 3. She adds a note of caution - too much commitment could kill off their relationship (love can be lethal). ...read more.


This is mentioned in stanza 3 and line 17. The poet appears to our senses to help us experience the classroom more. There are vivid descriptions, as if the poets memory is like a photograph, so travelling up the Blue Nile. Valentine Duffy uses an extended metaphor: she writes about her relationship as if it was an onion. 'It will blind you with tears.' (Relationships may cause people to be hurt)this is mentioned in stanza 3 and in line 7. 'Its platinum hoops shrink like a wedding ring.' ( An onion is platinum- coloured and is made up of rings). This is mentioned in stanza 7 and in line 19. 'Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips.' (the tangy taste to of the onion will stay on your lips after it has been eaten). This mentioned in stanza 6 and in line 14. 'It's scent will cling to your fingers.' (the smell the scent of your loved one). ...read more.


That she really is giving the person an onion, and really means it. Form Mrs Tilscher class The first two stanzas are very innocent, the laugh of a ball swung by a running child, while the third and fourth are about gaining experience - the inky tadpoles changed... the heavy , sexy sky. Each stanza moves us through the school year, so the poem ends at the end of the summer term. Valentine The poem does not have a regular form. The lines and stanzas are of irregular length. This could be for a number of reasons as it may suggest that love cannot be ordered and 'regular'. It may suggest that her thoughts are going directly onto the paper, unshaped, giving a kind of urgency. Traditional love poems are often very regular and may even rhyme: Duffy's decision not to conform to this stereotype is further proof that her love goes beyond the ordinary and so is that much more special. Ideas and attitudes Mrs Tilscher's class She obviously felt very safe and secure and happy in Mrs Tilscher's class. She emphasises how Mrs Tilscher taught her ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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