Analytical Exposition - Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears 
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

There are dents in every relationship, marks that cannot be erased, scars that run so deep that time can never heal. Yet the deeper the scars, the more room there is to fill them with love. Perfect relationship don’t exist, and the implications of valentines days, with its “red roses” and “satin hearts” are often very misleading cliches that prompt us to misinterpret the meaning of love. In the poem ‘Valentine’ written by Carol Ann Duffy, the authors use various literary devices to enhance the meaning of the poem. Through the use of symbolism, extended metaphor, and imagery, Duffy expresses her contempt towards the stereotypical symbols of love.

Firstly, the author utilizes symbolism to depict her opinion of what love truly means. Instead of sending her partner “red roses or a satin heart,” she sends them “an onion.” In many cases, an onion is a seen as a tear jerking vegetable that causes immense discomfort to ones eyes, stereotypically, it symbolizes petty dislike when sent to another as it can be an indicate your wish to cause them pain. However, in Duffy’s case, her onion represents all the ups and downs of love and the inevitability of pain when being in a relationship. This symbolizes the tough side of love. That you only get what you give, and that love will only prevail if both participants can journey through each others...