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Valentine Analysis



Author: Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy Type: Poetry Views: 2098

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.Here.It will blind you with tearslike 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.Lethal.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,

cling to your knife.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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the main messages Duffy accentuates are "relationships are filled with troubles and tribulations" and that one must experience being in a relationship to realise that the society has greatly influenced us into thinking that the cliched ideas of love such as roses or a satin heart that people give on valentines day is the presentation of love. No. Duffy rejects the cliches of society's idea of love and cleverly unravels the truth of the nature of love that it would hurt you, make you happy and many more emotions being love is not as easy as what it seems on the surface. love can be beautiful like the pure juicy layers of the white onion however once you cut the onion (start a relationship) it will evitably make you cry. so overall love has a beautiful and heartbreaking side to it.

| Posted on 2014-11-11 | by a guest


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so basically the poem is about love, and that the onion is a person, which shows you that you shouldn't judge people and get to know them first, because there is a different person behind the layers of skin. the onion also represents, that you don't need a pretty girl/boy for love, for example, a rose just shows its true couloirs and beauty whilst an onion is mysterious and hides the true person in the thick layers of skin. the poem also tells us that, love is not what you think it is. most people say its amazing, fun etc. however the poem gives us two points of views, it tells us, yes love is great however the onion can make you cry, showing us that relationships can be heart breaking. then the poem describes how the onion fierce kiss will stay on you lips, this is basically describing the onion when you eat it, this is connected when you kiss a boy, showing that eating an onion is same as kissing a man, also the 'possessive and faith' describes a man cause boys like control over women, also they protect there lady. lastly but not least 'its scent will cling to your fingers' telling us that the scent of the onions will cling to your clothes, showing that the men's/women scent will cling to your clothes

| Posted on 2014-05-23 | by a guest


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The layers of the onion are like the characteristics you reveal of the other person,the more layers you remove the more attatched you are to the person, the stronger the connection, and the more you know each other. We can also suggest that the more layers you remove the deeper you get into the onion, and likewise with people\'s emotions, the better you know their personality the more you understand them and the stronger the bond. This can be conrasted with the scent of the oniion, the deeper into the onion you get, the stronger the scent and therefore the more difficult it is to remove it, similar to the connection between two people, the stronger and the better the know each other, the more dificult it is to remove their connection.
This is how I see it, but some may say that \'The careful undressing of love\' suggests sexual imagery, perhaps referring to the aspects of pleasure and enjoyment in a relationship.

| Posted on 2013-05-09 | by a guest


.: :.

The layers of the onion are like the characteristics you reveal of the other person,the more layers you remove the more attatched you are to the person, the stronger the connection, and the more you know each other. We can also suggest that the more layers you remove the deeper you get into the onion, and likewise with people\'s emotions, the better you know their personality the more you understand them and the stronger the bond. This can be conrasted with the scent of the oniion, the deeper into the onion you get, the stronger the scent and therefore the more difficult it is to remove it, similar to the connection between two people, the stronger and the better the know each other, the more dificult it is to remove their connection.
This is how I see it, but some may say that \'The careful undressing of love\' suggests sexual imagery, perhaps referring to the aspects of pleasure and enjoyment in a relationship.

| Posted on 2013-05-09 | by a guest


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An insightful poetry analysis of \'Valentine\' by Carol Ann Duffy would probably juxtapose the meaning, message, themes, and free use of imagery in a summary of the poem with a look at the poet\'s choice of title. Both the title and the opening line give readers a clue to the message and tone of Duffy’s Valentine poem:
‘Not a red rose or a satin heart.’
The poet creates a contradiction by contrasting the romantic poem style of the title with a negative in the opening line. She seems to be hinting at a different, more tongue-in-cheek approach to St Valentine’s Day. She tells her own Valentine not to expect anything sentimental, romantic or cheesy.
In fact, she then goes on to offer something very surprising and almost cynical as a Valentine’s gift - an onion. In the following lines, she sets out why she thinks this vegetable makes an appropriate Valentine gift:
‘It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love.’
Carol Ann Duffy may have chosen the moon for her imagery as it is a traditional symbol of love-sickness, said to strongly influence the moods and emotions - particularly of women . However, her approach seems to be far from love-struck and is much more down-to-earth - almost to the point of cynicism. Here, she tells readers about another image associated with romantic love - that of promises. Readers may get the feeling that the promises she has experienced may have been unfulfilled like ‘th’inconstant moon’ referred to by so many writers before her. The moon, it seems, may promise light - but doesn’t always deliver. Duffy appears to be warning of trusting too much in the promises of romantic partners. ‘The careful undressing of love’ may reveal a person’s true character and motives under the superficial veneer of romantic vows.
The poet goes on to cleverly create an image of tear-filled eyes:
‘It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief.’Here she refers to the stinging, burning properties of onions, using a technique which causes readers to almost see the words on the page through tear-filled eyes by the use of language such as ‘blind,’ ‘tears,’ ‘reflection’ and ‘wobbling.’ These words all evoke memories of trying to view images through water. She likens stinging hurts caused by insensitive loves to the blurred vision and sore eyes caused by crying and emotional pain.
Carol Ann Duffy closes her anti romantic poem by reminding readers of some of the more violent and dangerous associations of onions and lover rows - of sharp knives, sliced fingers, the scent and perseverance of a ‘fierce kiss\' of taste, their indelibility, all of which she compares to some of the less attractive qualities of love such as possession or lack of faithfulness.
As Duffy herself has said of her writing, she likes to keep language plain, simple but boldly effective :

| Posted on 2013-04-01 | by a guest


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I\'m a knife and fork wielding, cheese pizza loving, star wars hating future accountant.

| Posted on 2012-09-19 | by a guest


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The vast majority of poems are about love or the harsh effects of relationships gone bad. Carol Ann Duffy has used this poem to truthfully describe the love between two people and how one of them believes they can use an \'onion\' to represent the love they share, or shared, and how, when one left the other, the \'lethal\' scent of that onion will cling to them always and no matter how happy their new lover makes them, they will always be tortured by the scent of the onion and the memories of their previous lover. Duffy uses many metaphors in this poem that prove and clarify how the onion represents the love shared between these two people.
In the Seccond stanza Duffy uses the metaphor \"It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.\" This can be linked to the metaphor in the fourth line \"like the careful undressing of love.\" as it suggests that there is definitely a promising factor to the relationship but you have to peel away the outer layer to actually get to it. So they do have good chemistry with each other but it is deep down. It is also the first and only hint towards the gender of the author as references to the \"the moon\" and to \"moonlight\" are usually directed to woman and their emotions and it makes sense because Duffy writes from a feminist view and seldom writes from the perspective of a male. It was an excellent metaphor and it cleverly introduces the other metaphors through precise work and underlying meaning.
In the second stanza, Duffy cleverly uses an enjambment in the metaphor \"it will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief.\" She carefully uses this technique to enphasize the metaphor and carry the meaning across to the readers in a better, more sophisticated manor. The metaphor suggests that the speaker believes the onion will reflect the love they once shared and it will prove the speaker correct by portraying their love as a battered old photo conveying sadness in the place of happiness. This is what the speaker is explaining they feel but they are doing so through metaphors and hidden meaning. This creates the perfect atmosphere for the rest of the poem and puts the correct ideas in place.
The last stanza is the biggest hint that the speaker was hurt by their partner. The sad atmosphere and the harsh relations to the onion are the perfect set up for the metaphors in this stanza. The speaker begins to tell us that \"it\'s platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring If you like. Lethal. It\'s scent will cling to your fingers, Cling to your knife.\" referring back to the onion, we can assume from the information provided by the metaphor that the speaker\'s partner had hurt them in some way that had left them cut and scarred when we anylise the use of the word \"knife\". We can also use the onion as the \'symbol\' of their love and use this metaphor to see that the scent of the onion will cling to the traitor for ever, and no matter how happy they are with their new partner, they will always be haunted by their last love, by the scent of the onion.
At first glance, \"Valentine\" looks like it has been thrown together in five minutes and can make very little sense but upon analysis we can see that the poem is an excellent, cleverly thought out representation of love when it had gone bad. The speaker in this poem describes their love as an onion, that you have to peel away a crispy, rotten outer layer to find anything good but they didn\'t find it in time and one person felt the need to leave even though deep down they loved their partner (the speaker) so now they will always be haunted by the old love, the onion.

| Posted on 2012-06-10 | by a guest


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The poem “Valentine” written by the present poet laureate in the UK, Carol Ann Duffy, subverts the idealized and universal idea of love and projects the dual nature of its essence. She rejects the gifts conventionally associated with Valentine’s Day, such as ‘red-rose’, ‘satin cloth’, ‘cute card’, ‘kissogram’ but by bringing a Copernican revolution with the option of ‘Onion’ as a gift which we find in the second line as “I give you an onion”.
The poem commences with a negative note “not a red rose” to slash the traditional offering of rose or satin cloth on Valentine’s Day. This is indeed to portray the idea that love is not to be taken as a bed of roses always, but to accept the thorns we find underneath the roses. Love has joyful and sorrowful nature.
Carol gives the image of onion to love. She compares onion (metaphor of love) to a moon, which is wrapped up in a brown paper (skin of an onion). Moonlight is the conventional symbol of romance. Onion, described as moon, throws light on the characters of lovers, to discover the true nature of each other as they begin to relate with one another. The words “careful undressing of love” refers to the above idea. The different layers of the onion are like the layers of someone’s personality. Beauty is just skin deep, but discovery of true character deepens one’s love. Carol describes a beautiful idea that true love is not based on the colour of the skin or appearance, but in discovering the true personality of the other.
Duffy goes further to expound the idea of acceptance by the line “Here”. She requests her lover to accept the gift, with a condition that if he opens up, it can also cause tears or grief. When a person receives a gift it always gives gladness, however, the gift inside may not be up to one’s expectation. It can, at times, cause disappointment. Like wise, love has the dual nature of immersing us into pain or pleasure.
The words “wobbling photo of grief” is linked to the line “careful undressing of love”. When you look at a photo with tears, it doesn’t give the real image of that photo, but a blurred or wobbling image. So too, initially love doesn’t give the true nature of the other, but when you begin to “undress” (discover) the real self of the other, it can cause you grief. However, Carol invites us to accept the dual nature of love as she is “trying to be truthful”.
In the sixth stanza, Duffy illustrates that love demands romance, possessiveness and loyalty. As per Duffy, it is nothing wrong to have physical relation in the expression of love, such as kissing, caressing, etc. The moment you indulge into physical affection, it invites for a deeper commitment of being loyal to one another and makes the other to be possessive as well. Such physical affection should lead the next stage of love, marriage. There is another idea that revolves around this line is that your partner will be faithful to you as long as you are faithful to your partner. Loyalty shares its mutuality (Loyalty is mutual). The personified words “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” refer to the idea that even if you ditch your lover and goes with another, the thought of your old partner will always linger around your mind.
Duffy winds up the poem with the concept of “marriage”. She suggests that the bright white core of the onion is like a wedding ring: ‘Its platinum loops shrinks to a wedding ring’. Nevertheless, marriage is just an option, which is understood by the line “if you like”. If the love doesn’t end with marriage, after having had all the “fun” (physical relation) it becomes “lethal”. As stated in the fifth stanza, even if one ditches the partner and goes with another, the ‘scent’ or the ‘thought’ of him or her, will always be engraved in our mind. When you touch or have physical relation with the second partner, you will always get the smell of your previous partner. His or her thoughts will be like a thorn in your flesh, just like the smell of Onion which will cling to our fingers or knife even after washing.
The tone of the poem is at times cynical; however, Duffy uses to demonstrate the true nature of love, which is very obvious in the line “I am trying to be truthful”. The central image of the poem is ‘onion’ which is indeed a metaphorical expression. Since the metaphor of onion is used throughout the poem, it can be called an extended metaphor, which is found in the words: ‘I give you an onion’; ‘it will blind you with tears’. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” is the personification given to onion.
Duffy utilizes literary devices by alliterating the lines “I am trying to be truthful”, and “Cute card or Kissogram”. The repetition of the‘t’ sound strengthens the feeling of honesty. We also find the usage of consonance in the lines “Scent will cling to your fingers”. The ‘n’ sound is found twice in ‘onion’ and its use in the last stanza is a constant reminder of the onion as a new Valentine symbol or metaphor. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” The‘s’ sound imitates the sound of a kiss and is an example of onomatopoeia. The poem, ‘Valentine’, indeed invites us to be ‘valiant’ in accepting the true nature of love.
Doesn't anyone else perceive this poem to be a sardonic and sarcastic accusal from Duffy to a partner or husband? I believe that the poem can be read from 2 different views, either the positive suggestion of the attributes and loving connotations an onion can resemble but also i believe that this poem could be read in a less lighthearted manor. I get the impression that Duffy is accusing a partner of giving her these things, the kissogram the roses and the satin hearts and she does not see or believe in the love behind these presents. She has thought through her present more and shuns her partner for not doing the same.
The harsh language littered throughout the poem backs up this point with words such as 'blind', 'grief', 'lethal' and 'knife'. The abnormality of her present is reflected in the lack of structure and unusual meter of he poem, it alternates in line length and has no discernible rhyme scheme.
The tone of the poem seems aggressive with controlling words and phrases such as 'possessive and faithful' and 'fierce kiss'. I can imagine being on the receiving end of this pom being frightening and emotionally un-stabling having a lover who you thought would enjoy lighthearted presents such as "statin hearts' to then come at you with this bitter tone and angry thoughts.
this poem is one of duffy's many works that ar ein the form of a dramatic monologue. the speaker is giving an onion to someone as a gift for valentines day, but not a cliched one such as red roses or satin hearts. the title of the poem itself is ironic because valentines are associated with cliched gifts while the speaker presents an onion as a unique gift to display how love is unique.the onion is symbolized as a moon because typically the moon represents and has an effect on womens emotions; which is evidence that the speaker in the poem is a female speaker. which is typical for duffy because she rarely creates male speakers. the onion is used because it is potent and the scent is difficult to remove, which is the same as love and the connection between two people. the entire poem has possesive language besides the part about marriage; which is the only time that the speaker gives her companion a choice. this displays that love does not have a definite path and that there are options for the two lovers. it could also imply that there is only one option and that one of them is trapped due to the negative language before this passage along with the possesive language displayed as well. thats all i can annotate i hope my interpretations were helpful and correct.
some peoples comments on here are irrelevant and dont fully grasp what the poet is trying to get across to the reader. also, if you dont appreciate the poem then why are you lo

| Posted on 2012-06-01 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is one of duffy\'s many works that ar ein the form of a dramatic monologue. the speaker is giving an onion to someone as a gift for valentines day, but not a cliched one such as red roses or satin hearts. the title of the poem itself is ironic because valentines are associated with cliched gifts while the speaker presents an onion as a unique gift to display how love is unique.the onion is symbolized as a moon because typically the moon represents and has an effect on womens emotions; which is evidence that the speaker in the poem is a female speaker. which is typical for duffy because she rarely creates male speakers. the onion is used because it is potent and the scent is difficult to remove, which is the same as love and the connection between two people. the entire poem has possesive language besides the part about marriage; which is the only time that the speaker gives her companion a choice. this displays that love does not have a definite path and that there are options for the two lovers. it could also imply that there is only one option and that one of them is trapped due to the negative language before this passage along with the possesive language displayed as well. thats all i can annotate i hope my interpretations were helpful and correct.
some peoples comments on here are irrelevant and dont fully grasp what the poet is trying to get across to the reader. also, if you dont appreciate the poem then why are you looking it up on your free time and writing derrogative comments about the poem. if you cant comprehend or appreciate a piece of literature then you shouldnt be posting negative comments.

| Posted on 2012-05-30 | by a guest


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Doesn\'t anyone else perceive this poem to be a sardonic and sarcastic accusal from Duffy to a partner or husband? I believe that the poem can be read from 2 different views, either the positive suggestion of the attributes and loving connotations an onion can resemble but also i believe that this poem could be read in a less lighthearted manor. I get the impression that Duffy is accusing a partner of giving her these things, the kissogram the roses and the satin hearts and she does not see or believe in the love behind these presents. She has thought through her present more and shuns her partner for not doing the same.
The harsh language littered throughout the poem backs up this point with words such as \'blind\', \'grief\', \'lethal\' and \'knife\'. The abnormality of her present is reflected in the lack of structure and unusual meter of he poem, it alternates in line length and has no discernible rhyme scheme.
The tone of the poem seems aggressive with controlling words and phrases such as \'possessive and faithful\' and \'fierce kiss\'. I can imagine being on the receiving end of this pom being frightening and emotionally un-stabling having a lover who you thought would enjoy lighthearted presents such as \"statin hearts\' to then come at you with this bitter tone and angry thoughts.
Tom Arnison
Ivybridge Community college
Year 10

| Posted on 2012-05-23 | by a guest


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For all those people who think they\'re being \"cool\" by dissing this poem and commenting inappropriately, guess what? You\'ve already ruined your coolness by caring to comment on an GCSE poem.

| Posted on 2012-04-21 | by a guest


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The poem itself represents that love can be beautiful all by itself and doesn\'t need to be represented by a beautiful gold ring but can be represented by a simple ring of onion. Alternatively the use of the \'onion metaphor\' could represent the many different layers of love... But yeh erm BANTER :D

| Posted on 2012-03-31 | by a guest


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herrroo valentine doesnt make any sense tbh its clear that its been wrote in 5minutes..

| Posted on 2012-02-25 | by a guest


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There are no rhymes in the poem.What do you think carol want to show us with this unstructured text?

| Posted on 2012-02-21 | by a guest


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i love this poem because it reminds me of my love for dead elephants :) by fay williams

| Posted on 2012-02-07 | by a guest


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This poem is about onions and how smelly they are.

| Posted on 2012-02-07 | by a guest


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I\'m from Serbia and I actually have this song in my book. So I have to learn it. I will. I do understand this song, but I just wanted to see how someone else understands it. And I agree with the first comment.
It is a very unusual song, different I would say.
Love it.

| Posted on 2012-01-29 | by a guest


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.The poem “Valentine” written by the present poet laureate in the UK, Carol Ann Duffy, subverts the idealized and universal idea of love and projects the dual nature of its essence. She rejects the gifts conventionally associated with Valentine’s Day, such as ‘red-rose’, ‘satin cloth’, ‘cute card’, ‘kissogram’ but by bringing a Copernican revolution with the option of ‘Onion’ as a gift which we find in the second line as “I give you an onion”.
The poem commences with a negative note “not a red rose” to slash the traditional offering of rose or satin cloth on Valentine’s Day. This is indeed to portray the idea that love is not to be taken as a bed of roses always, but to accept the thorns we find underneath the roses. Love has joyful and sorrowful nature.
Carol gives the image of onion to love. She compares onion (metaphor of love) to a moon, which is wrapped up in a brown paper (skin of an onion). Moonlight is the conventional symbol of romance. Onion, described as moon, throws light on the characters of lovers, to discover the true nature of each other as they begin to relate with one another. The words “careful undressing of love” refers to the above idea. The different layers of the onion are like the layers of someone’s personality. Beauty is just skin deep, but discovery of true character deepens one’s love. Carol describes a beautiful idea that true love is not based on the colour of the skin or appearance, but in discovering the true personality of the other.
Duffy goes further to expound the idea of acceptance by the line “Here”. She requests her lover to accept the gift, with a condition that if he opens up, it can also cause tears or grief. When a person receives a gift it always gives gladness, however, the gift inside may not be up to one’s expectation. It can, at times, cause disappointment. Like wise, love has the dual nature of immersing us into pain or pleasure.
The words “wobbling photo of grief” is linked to the line “careful undressing of love”. When you look at a photo with tears, it doesn’t give the real image of that photo, but a blurred or wobbling image. So too, initially love doesn’t give the true nature of the other, but when you begin to “undress” (discover) the real self of the other, it can cause you grief. However, Carol invites us to accept the dual nature of love as she is “trying to be truthful”.
In the sixth stanza, Duffy illustrates that love demands romance, possessiveness and loyalty. As per Duffy, it is nothing wrong to have physical relation in the expression of love, such as kissing, caressing, etc. The moment you indulge into physical affection, it invites for a deeper commitment of being loyal to one another and makes the other to be possessive as well. Such physical affection should lead the next stage of love, marriage. There is another idea that revolves around this line is that your partner will be faithful to you as long as you are faithful to your partner. Loyalty shares its mutuality (Loyalty is mutual). The personified words “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” refer to the idea that even if you ditch your lover and goes with another, the thought of your old partner will always linger around your mind.
Duffy winds up the poem with the concept of “marriage”. She suggests that the bright white core of the onion is like a wedding ring: ‘Its platinum loops shrinks to a wedding ring’. Nevertheless, marriage is just an option, which is understood by the line “if you like”. If the love doesn’t end with marriage, after having had all the “fun” (physical relation) it becomes “lethal”. As stated in the fifth stanza, even if one ditches the partner and goes with another, the ‘scent’ or the ‘thought’ of him or her, will always be engraved in our mind. When you touch or have physical relation with the second partner, you will always get the smell of your previous partner. His or her thoughts will be like a thorn in your flesh, just like the smell of Onion which will cling to our fingers or knife even after washing.
The tone of the poem is at times cynical; however, Duffy uses to demonstrate the true nature of love, which is very obvious in the line “I am trying to be truthful”. The central image of the poem is ‘onion’ which is indeed a metaphorical expression. Since the metaphor of onion is used throughout the poem, it can be called an extended metaphor, which is found in the words: ‘I give you an onion’; ‘it will blind you with tears’. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” is the personification given to onion.
Duffy utilizes literary devices by alliterating the lines “I am trying to be truthful”, and “Cute card or Kissogram”. The repetition of the‘t’ sound strengthens the feeling of honesty. We also find the usage of consonance in the lines “Scent will cling to your fingers”. The ‘n’ sound is found twice in ‘onion’ and its use in the last stanza is a constant reminder of the onion as a new Valentine symbol or metaphor. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” The‘s’ sound imitates the sound of a kiss and is an example of onomatopoeia. The poem, ‘Valentine’, indeed invites us to be ‘valiant’ in accepting the true nature of love.

| Posted on 2011-12-09 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem “Valentine” written by the present poet laureate in the UK, Carol Ann Duffy, subverts the idealized and universal idea of love and projects the dual nature of its essence. She rejects the gifts conventionally associated with Valentine’s Day, such as ‘red-rose’, ‘satin cloth’, ‘cute card’, ‘kissogram’ but by bringing a Copernican revolution with the option of ‘Onion’ as a gift which we find in the second line as “I give you an onion”.
The poem commences with a negative note “not a red rose” to slash the traditional offering of rose or satin cloth on Valentine’s Day. This is indeed to portray the idea that love is not to be taken as a bed of roses always, but to accept the thorns we find underneath the roses. Love has joyful and sorrowful nature.
Carol gives the image of onion to love. She compares onion (metaphor of love) to a moon, which is wrapped up in a brown paper (skin of an onion). Moonlight is the conventional symbol of romance. Onion, described as moon, throws light on the characters of lovers, to discover the true nature of each other as they begin to relate with one another. The words “careful undressing of love” refers to the above idea. The different layers of the onion are like the layers of someone’s personality. Beauty is just skin deep, but discovery of true character deepens one’s love. Carol describes a beautiful idea that true love is not based on the colour of the skin or appearance, but in discovering the true personality of the other.
Duffy goes further to expound the idea of acceptance by the line “Here”. She requests her lover to accept the gift, with a condition that if he opens up, it can also cause tears or grief. When a person receives a gift it always gives gladness, however, the gift inside may not be up to one’s expectation. It can, at times, cause disappointment. Like wise, love has the dual nature of immersing us into pain or pleasure.
The words “wobbling photo of grief” is linked to the line “careful undressing of love”. When you look at a photo with tears, it doesn’t give the real image of that photo, but a blurred or wobbling image. So too, initially love doesn’t give the true nature of the other, but when you begin to “undress” (discover) the real self of the other, it can cause you grief. However, Carol invites us to accept the dual nature of love as she is “trying to be truthful”.
In the sixth stanza, Duffy illustrates that love demands romance, possessiveness and loyalty. As per Duffy, it is nothing wrong to have physical relation in the expression of love, such as kissing, caressing, etc. The moment you indulge into physical affection, it invites for a deeper commitment of being loyal to one another and makes the other to be possessive as well. Such physical affection should lead the next stage of love, marriage. There is another idea that revolves around this line is that your partner will be faithful to you as long as you are faithful to your partner. Loyalty shares its mutuality (Loyalty is mutual). The personified words “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” refer to the idea that even if you ditch your lover and goes with another, the thought of your old partner will always linger around your mind.
Duffy winds up the poem with the concept of “marriage”. She suggests that the bright white core of the onion is like a wedding ring: ‘Its platinum loops shrinks to a wedding ring’. Nevertheless, marriage is just an option, which is understood by the line “if you like”. If the love doesn’t end with marriage, after having had all the “fun” (physical relation) it becomes “lethal”. As stated in the fifth stanza, even if one ditches the partner and goes with another, the ‘scent’ or the ‘thought’ of him or her, will always be engraved in our mind. When you touch or have physical relation with the second partner, you will always get the smell of your previous partner. His or her thoughts will be like a thorn in your flesh, just like the smell of Onion which will cling to our fingers or knife even after washing.
The tone of the poem is at times cynical; however, Duffy uses to demonstrate the true nature of love, which is very obvious in the line “I am trying to be truthful”. The central image of the poem is ‘onion’ which is indeed a metaphorical expression. Since the metaphor of onion is used throughout the poem, it can be called an extended metaphor, which is found in the words: ‘I give you an onion’; ‘it will blind you with tears’. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” is the personification given to onion.
Duffy utilizes literary devices by alliterating the lines “I am trying to be truthful”, and “Cute card or Kissogram”. The repetition of the‘t’ sound strengthens the feeling of honesty. We also find the usage of consonance in the lines “Scent will cling to your fingers”. The ‘n’ sound is found twice in ‘onion’ and its use in the last stanza is a constant reminder of the onion as a new Valentine symbol or metaphor. “Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips” The‘s’ sound imitates the sound of a kiss and is an example of onomatopoeia. The poem, ‘Valentine’, indeed invites us to be ‘valiant’ in accepting the true nature of love.

| Posted on 2011-12-09 | by a guest


.: :.

the poem\'s also useful for blowing ur nose.. but the onions make ur eyes water alot too :|

| Posted on 2011-11-02 | by a guest


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\"not a red rose or a satin heart is written at the begnning of the poem.The poet has done this because the poet is saying that giving roses and a box of chocolate is useless.This also suggests that the poet uses oninons instead of tranditional gifts such as roses because the peot is trying to say that dont waste your money on your lover when you know he will dup you and break your heart.

| Posted on 2011-10-09 | by a guest


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Looking like these idiotic comments it feels like....like....I\'m on facebook

| Posted on 2011-10-03 | by a guest


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Duffy is saying how her love is different and special from everyone else. She backs this up by saying that she gives her lover and onion and not a red rose or a satin heart. Hope that helps guys

| Posted on 2011-09-22 | by a guest


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this poem is horrid.. i think i may have a better one,
roses are red,
violets are blue,
i have a knife,
get in the van...

| Posted on 2011-06-17 | by a guest


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Lot\'s of metaphor\'s, personification and smiles are used to express Duffy meaning of \'true\' love. She disapproves with the usual meaningless presents couples tend to give on valentines day, \'Not a red rose or a kissogram\' this portrays the idea of being truthful and expressing one\'s love for another rather than giving traditional expected gifts every year.
Metaphorical language is cleverly used to evoke Duffy\'s true idea of realistic love, \' It is a moon wrapped in brown paper/ It promises light\' This interlinks with the different layers of the onion and once you past the first stage meaning peeled the first layer a new surprise and mystery will come. Hence strengthen the relationship.
Smiles are also used to express Duff\'s point on true love, \'It will blind you with tears like a lover\' This highlights the main concept of the poem. There\'s going to be both positive and negative aspects in every relationship.
Hope you learn t something new! - btw there\'s lots more you can write but i dont want to give you alll my idea:P

| Posted on 2011-06-12 | by a guest


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In my opinion about this story Is that the poem is like joy had fallen down to earth to bring happiness and cheerful memories to what they would do in there marriage

| Posted on 2011-04-14 | by a guest


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omg dis poem has ot bare hits, anywys i was readin it and it helped me out a lot....like when i was in the toilet with no bldy tissues lol =P

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest


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I loved this poem and ate 50 onions after it and went to the hospital the next day and now im dead(i changed my will when i was in the hospital for somebody to type this for me)

| Posted on 2011-02-25 | by a guest


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The poem is very good, and also very hard. I have done it with my class, really enjoyed it. And if you put the effort in you will do good :D

| Posted on 2011-02-21 | by a guest


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where are the similes and metaphors and personifacation in the poem valentine by carol ann duffy ????

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest


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This poem is weird buttt yee, thanks for your help :D thats my english lit gcse DONE! tah bbz

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest


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heres a riddle. yuu cut my head and then im dead, and then yuu weep beside my bed, what am i?

| Posted on 2011-02-10 | by a guest


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i love this poem sooo much and so did my 112 children :D

| Posted on 2011-02-10 | by a guest


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This is a poem about how \'real\' love is. Not all chocolate boxes and spending money on overblown pointless and (ultimately meaningless) gesyures. Has no one thought about the layered nature of onions?
For me (and this is only my opinion) everyone will read this differently depending on their experiences of ordinary love in everyday relationships. most of you seem to be students so - although you might think you have - a lot of you won\'t have had that moment yet. Love is pain and heartache, hurting someone and getting hurt, being made to cry when you don\'t want to (like when you peel and onion!!) and finding levels of happiness that don\'t always mean fireworks and flowers but sometimes just mean comfort and memories.
Think about the ways Duffy talks about the onion - first as a present - wrapped in plain \'paper\' (that\'s what the outside of an onion is called BTW) then a globe - pure and white like the moon - full of juicy promises of the future and a mysterious and every changing influence on romance (look for more moon poems - there\'s loads) then it shrinks down through the layers until it is the size fo a ring - and if the subject of her love choses to put it on her finger the onion smell will remain long after she has taken it off - and therefore the love will remain long after the lust and passion of newly wedded couples exist - or even after divorce or separation - (that\'s the knife bit)
it is a very clever extended metaphor which takes one of the most \'romantic\' events in the yearly calender - and the one which has become so commercialised and exploited by industry - and pulls it right back to some thing personal and ordinary. It is a reminder that valentines day has become some kind of hideous monster where couples feel the need to spend spend spend and make over sentimental and not altogether honest gestures when what really should be happening is that we should show our love for each other in an enduring and more private way.
Think about this - how would you feel if you got an onion? even with this explanation attached? I honestly think this is a brave and heartfelt poem from one human to another - trying to get to the heart of her feelings and explain them.
Hope this gives you food for thought
Carol Ann duffy also writes in free verse. But why? She writes in free verse because she is always simple and twists the simple words to make them seem complicated. e.g.
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.Here.It will blind you with tearslike a lover.
In this many people may not understand what it means. But it means
i take credit

| Posted on 2011-02-06 | by a guest


.: :.

This is a poem about how \'real\' love is. Not all chocolate boxes and spending money on overblown pointless and (ultimately meaningless) gesyures. Has no one thought about the layered nature of onions?
For me (and this is only my opinion) everyone will read this differently depending on their experiences of ordinary love in everyday relationships. most of you seem to be students so - although you might think you have - a lot of you won\'t have had that moment yet. Love is pain and heartache, hurting someone and getting hurt, being made to cry when you don\'t want to (like when you peel and onion!!) and finding levels of happiness that don\'t always mean fireworks and flowers but sometimes just mean comfort and memories.
Think about the ways Duffy talks about the onion - first as a present - wrapped in plain \'paper\' (that\'s what the outside of an onion is called BTW) then a globe - pure and white like the moon - full of juicy promises of the future and a mysterious and every changing influence on romance (look for more moon poems - there\'s loads) then it shrinks down through the layers until it is the size fo a ring - and if the subject of her love choses to put it on her finger the onion smell will remain long after she has taken it off - and therefore the love will remain long after the lust and passion of newly wedded couples exist - or even after divorce or separation - (that\'s the knife bit)
it is a very clever extended metaphor which takes one of the most \'romantic\' events in the yearly calender - and the one which has become so commercialised and exploited by industry - and pulls it right back to some thing personal and ordinary. It is a reminder that valentines day has become some kind of hideous monster where couples feel the need to spend spend spend and make over sentimental and not altogether honest gestures when what really should be happening is that we should show our love for each other in an enduring and more private way.
Think about this - how would you feel if you got an onion? even with this explanation attached? I honestly think this is a brave and heartfelt poem from one human to another - trying to get to the heart of her feelings and explain them.
Hope this gives you food for thought
Carol Ann duffy also writes in free verse. But why? She writes in free verse because she is always simple and twists the simple words to make them seem complicated. e.g.
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.Here.It will blind you with tearslike a lover.
In this many people may not understand what it means. But it means
i take credit

| Posted on 2011-02-06 | by a guest


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ive been studying this poem in english and the subtle hints , without the hints from my teacher that \'it\'s scent will cling to your fingers , cling to your knife\' is about sex , and that sex is not as clean as people think , i never ever would have guessed . i thought it meant she\'d killed him , but no . brightend up my day and made me giggle :)

| Posted on 2011-02-02 | by a guest


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this poem made me think about stopping raping little children so thanks very much
and by the way youre my next victim

| Posted on 2011-02-01 | by a guest


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I love this poem because I wanked multipule times and my balls didnt even hurt its like a miracle wank poem , thanks

| Posted on 2011-02-01 | by a guest


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I felt the full effect of duffys poem after i killed my latest lover who dumped me for a midgit ballet dancer, well i say duffy thanks for the advice and she wont be seeing anyone but me, well that is if i get something out of the fridge (because thats where her head is)

| Posted on 2011-02-01 | by a guest


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this porm made me realise that carol ann duffy is a MILF!

| Posted on 2011-02-01 | by a guest




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