Respnse Essay on Carol Ann Duffy's Valentine

Maciej Lorenc   Szczecin, 22.10.2009English Philology, Year III, Group 3
Language of Literature

Response essay on Carol Ann Duffy's Valentine

Valentine is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, a famous British writer who currently holds the position of Britain's poet laureate. On the surface, Valentine seems to be about the giving of an extraordinary and unconventional present for St. Valentine's Day. But when analyzed more deeply, the poem turns out to be a description of a serious and complicated type of relationship that is usually termed as “true love”.
In Valentine Duffy uses a controversial symbol of an onion to represent and characterize her feelings to her lover as well as her approach to love in general. Onion, as a rather unusual present for St. Valentine's day, becomes an interesting and deep metaphor for real love. Although onion is a common and everyday thing, it surely is not a conventional and romantic gift as for instance a 'red rose' or a 'cute card'. Onion as a symbol of love suggests a serious everyday relationship, not devoid of tears and sorrows of everyday life. Such relationship, like an onion, has a lot of different layers and leaves a strong scent of its own that is very difficult to eliminate. By comparing her feelings to an onion, Duffy reveals herself as a honest and realistic person who experienced a lot of difficult relationships. Above all, she expresses her serious and mature attitude to love.
To sum up, in Valentine Duffy uses symbolism to express her approach to love. She uses a provoking and original onion metaphor to perfectly characterize the serious and unique feeling of true love, which is not always romantic and pleasant. In my opinion, Duffy has done very well in describing the true image of love. I like the way the symbolism she uses is very original and simple at the same time. It allows the reader to look at love from a different perspective and to compare his and the author's experiences and opinions. Finally, Valentine...