Robert Penn Warren True Love Analysis

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In Robert Penn Warren's poem True Love, a man recounts his experience of watching a beautiful girl through the years. On a deeper level, the poem illustrates the perspective change from a boy to a man in regards to love and what makes it "true."
The short sentence length, on average, throughout the poem, resonates in an almost discordant way. By mimicking the irregular and sometimes erratic way real humans think, it shows that even years after, the speaker still remembers those clear details. While not always connected, the vivid memories left of the girl still echo in his mind. Similarly, in the fifth stanza, he jumps from the first time he saw the girl to the first moment she smiled at him--a whole two years later. By composing the poem in this way, the author emphasizes the lack of time in the speaker's memory. The speaker thinks of her in one fluid thought as if it had all happened at once.
In the first stanza, forms of the word "meaningless" repeat twice. Although referring to the ravings of his heart, the juxtaposition of placing the description of his ten year old self after the word "meaningless" seems to imply that he sees himself as unimportant. This idea
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In this way, he contrasts himself with her. Another contrast happens between the fourth and fifth stanzas. In the fourth stanza, the speaker describes how watching the girl makes him feel dirty. The fifth stanza contrasts his statement by detailing her brightness. However, both stanzas, opposite in content, contain similar last sentences about how he would die if she saw him. While the poem never really describes the girl in detail, her character and beauty is portrayed through the reverence the speaker gives her. He proves his affection by learning about her and her family. To him, she is worth learning

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