Presentation on theme: "‘Valentine’ Carol Ann Duffy. Imagery The extended metaphor – the onion is a symbol of love. The poet appeals to the senses – the bitter, acrid, long lasting."— Presentation transcript:
‘Valentine’ Carol Ann Duffy
Imagery The extended metaphor – the onion is a symbol of love. The poet appeals to the senses – the bitter, acrid, long lasting taste of the onion. The way the scent of the onion can bring tears to the eyes. Smell, sight, taste.
Comments on Valentine’s Day? The gift is unconventional, a direct contrast to the hackneyed gifts of what has become a commercial holiday. The narrator seems to be against commercial, generic gifts which lack character and originality/thought behind them. Is the onion a protest against V Day?
Structure The poem is made up of six stanzas. The first stanza is made up of three short, abrupt sentences before finishing with a longer image – a simile. Use of short, abrupt, blunt sentences to grab the reader’s attention. Also reveals something about the narrator’s attitude? “Here.”, “Take it.” Is this a sign of stubborness, disinterest?
Narrator’s Attitude Is it a man or a woman? Think of the suggestions that are made – your interpretation. It’s emotional – passionate (“It’s fierce kiss…”, “possessively faithful”) Is it romantic or is it spiteful? Is this a lover’s tiff (argument)?
Word Choice “It promises light” – optimistic, hopeful “It will blind you” “grief”, “Its fierce kiss”, “Possessive”, “Lethal”, “cling”. These words are quite aggressive, negative connotations – think about their specific meanings. Control, power struggle/issues? Is there a sinister undertone? Is this a happy relationship? Is there a dominant, controlling partner?
Imagery Personification – the onion is brought to life. It begins as a seemingly innocent gift – one of hope “promises light”, presented in its own “brown paper”. It then becomes something (perhaps) more sinister. “Blind you”, “fierce kiss”. The gift has more threatening attributes than first imagined.
Positive Symbolism “promises light”, there is hope, the bright flesh underneath the dark skin could be a suggestion of the lover’s personality? Beauty not being skin deep. Onion is layered, many different aspects of love – friendship, romance, camaraderie, partnership, love, marriage, family etc. The different layers of a person that you learn about. Nourishment. It has a distinct personality/character – leaves a strong impression. “Platinum loops…”, possibilities, new stages that can come from love.
Structure/Tone The tone changes from one which is fairly optimistic and becomes darker as the poem progresses. The different stanzas of the poem reflect the narrator’s thought processes. He/she seems to address the reality of the relationship and its negative aspects. A sinister, more hateful tone is created as the poem progresses. Is the onion being chopped at the end? Is this a symbol of the demise of the relationship/love, the symbol of the poem? Is there a darker outcome?