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The poem

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The Lover Don Patterson The poem "The Lover" by Don Patterson explores traditional notions of fate and romantic love. The title represents both of these ideas, as the lover is a tarot card used by fortune-tellers to tell you your fate, and "the lover" has connotations of romance. He also uses vivid imagery describes how a human is knocked down by a car, and against the odds, is brought back to life because of love. The poem has three stanzas of equal length and it has a half rhyme. The main theme is identified by how love is the strongest force on the planet. Patterson begins by saying, "Poor mortals with your horoscopes and blood tests." This is in such a tone, that it is suggesting that a higher being is speaking, and through references later in the poem, it seems likely that the narrator is a classic Greek god. ...read more.


A car knocks down the subject. "So you step out at the lights, almost as if today you know you are the special one. The women in the windshield lifting away her frozen cry." This metaphor is very effective as it has clear connotations of time standing still and fear. Patterson is now writing on a personal basis, as before he spoke generally. He continues his biblical references when he says, "A white mask on a stick". This imagery describes Atropos, the Greek god of death (somewhat like Grim Reaper) When the time has come, they come to take to take you away. He continues the theme of the underworld by saying, "The sun leaves like a rocket; the sky goes out." Patterson's effective imagery has apocalyptic connotations. This simile compares the flash of a rocket to the brightness of the sun. It also suggests that everything happens quickly, as rockets are very fast. ...read more.


Patterson uses the dark rose as a metaphor describing the blood on the shirt. I could also be a heart. This has connotations of love. "And you slip back into the crowd, who being merely mortal must remember none of this incident." This quote underlines human naivety by using effective word choice. It tells us that the subject just reappears and nobody notices. Patterson finishes by saying "Just one flea ridden dog chained to the railing, who might be Cerberus or patent Argos, looks on knowing the great law you have flouted." This tells us that animals who we consider being inferior to us know that we have beaten the system. Cerberus and Argos are names of classic Greek gods, both three headed dogs who guarded the gates of Hades; the Greek underworld. In conclusion, Patterson has told us of a man brought back to life through love. The theme he tries to portray I that love is the most powerful force in the world and it is strong enough to break any laws. ...read more.

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