Alice Duffy: A Commentary On Valentine's Day

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The narration of this poem is through first person perspective. The structure of the poem is basically quite irregular. The poem has eight irregular stanzas, some of which have only one line. Unlike typical poems written on Valentine’s Day, this poem has no regular rhyme or rhythm pattern and therefore makes the poem more natural. Poem begins rather romantically but the tone gradually becomes more sinister as the imagery suggests violence and pain.
In the first stanza, Duffy is challenging the traditional symbols of love, namely “red rose” and “satin heart”. By defying expectations the poet immediately shows that true love is unique, unexpected and unconventional. She says that she will not give the listener these conventional gifts of Valentine’s Day.
Instead, in the second stanza, Duffy would like to give an onion as an alternative symbol of love. Duffy then compares the onion to a “moon wrapped in brown paper” .This is a metaphor. An unusual comparison, however Duffy begins to make valid connections by comparing the shape and size of it to the moon. The outside of an onion is often brown and the inside is white like the moon. This part is cleverly written as although brown paper is dull and uninspiring, brown paper packages are often a symbol of gifts underneath. Just as the moon promises light in the same way Duffy is trying to say that the onion will put light on their relationship and make it better. “The careful undressing of love” maybe suggests physical intimacy and

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