Comparing Love Poetry: Vultures (Chinua Achebe) and Valentine (Carol Ann Duffy)

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Comparing Love Poetry: Vultures (Chinua Achebe) and Valentine (Carol Ann Duffy) Love is a theme that anyone can relate to and this is why it can be such an interesting thing to read about. From love poems I have recently studied, it became clear to me that writer’s use their love poems as an individual forum to express themselves and get their views and ideas across. It is an important theme because it is universally recognised and can be interpreted in many ways, each of which should be explored. Chinua Achebe’s poem, ‘Vultures’, explores different kinds of love including that between animals, father and daughter and a woman’s love for something unknown. Each type is explored in a bizarre way which enlightens the reader. In stark contrast, the poem ‘Valentine’ by the Scottish poet Carol Anne Duffy was written after a radio producer asked her to write an original poem for Valentine’s Day. The poem explores the idea of a Valentine’s Day gift and Duffy expresses her anti-cliché idea of giving a symbolic gift to help her lover understand the love they share.One of the notable differences between these two poems is the titles. ‘Vultures’ has a very deceptive title. The idea of a vulture initially appears to be quite grotesque and violent and in no way seems to be associated with love, furthermore as the title is so deceptive I feel the title ‘Valentine’ to be rather appropriate for the other poem as it immediately brings romance to mind. Both titles however, are rather unusual after analysing the
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poems as ‘Valentine’ first appears to be very cliché and predictable but it turns out to be another original take on love.Each poem also differs in the kind of voice used however; both are the poet’s own take on love. ‘Valentine’ is written in first person narrative which allows us to relate to and understand the poem whereas ‘Vultures’ is written in third person narrative which allows us to obtain an outside view on the situation in the poem which we simply could not relate to ourselves. Although they differ in narrative styles, each style works well for us to ...

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