Valinetine by Carol Ann Durry

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 opinions 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 towards one another as it can be an indicate your wish to cause them pain.

Secondly, the poet utilizes extended metaphors to depicts the reasons why she believes an onion is the best symbol for love. In the 2nd stanza, the author explains how an onions is a better love gift by comparing it to a “moon wrapped in brown paper.” A round white moon in the midst of the dark is often seen as a symbol of romance, and due to the similarities between a peeled onion and the moon, the poet is implying that the onion is just as romantic as the moon. Around the onion, is a brown skin that hides the white vegetable, the author compares the brown skin of an onion, to the wrapping paper of a gift.

Lastly, the poet uses vivid imagery to allow the audience have a better understanding on the complications of love. The author describes the onion as a jealous lover and the way they kiss in this point of the relationship, is said to be “fierce” and “possessive”. It hints that their love is turning obsessive and that their relationship is gradually deteriorating into misunderstandings and violence.

To conclude, Carol Ann Duffy’s effective use of literary devices enhance the meaning of the poem and intensifies the depth of understanding the audience gains towards the subject. It is the poets clever choice of diction and her deft way of illustrating such blunt truth that allows the...