Valentine Carol Ann Duffy Essay

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Love is a complex emotion; it is both one of the most wonderful and painful feelings a human being experiences. In the poem Valentine, poet Carol Ann Duffy explores the ‘true’ concept of love extremely eloquently and unusually, through the use of powerful and thought provoking imagery and language techniques. The form, in which Duffy effusively depicts an onion to the concept of love, is done through the use of convincing metaphors, similes, alliteration, and other language techniques, which make the reader, both empathize and envy the emotion Duffy describes. Carol Ann Duffy uses alliteration, negative adverbs and blunt sentences to connote her rejection of and animosity towards traditional love tokens. This is conveyed in Duffy’s use …show more content…

This is interpreted through the direct address: “Here.” and “Take it.”, short and personal, almost as an offering of the onion to the reader. The word/s one their own makes a direct impact on the reader, as it is a very intimate and confident tone Duffy uses. Duffy addresses her reader throughout the poem, moreover using the word “you” (repetition?), giving the poem an extremely personal and delicate tone. This is additionally connoted through the use of the repetition of quite simple and straightforward language. In repeated structures, words are repeated, echoing each other. The repetition of the short sentence “I give you an onion” embodies both the ongoing love Duffy felts towards this person and the layers of the onion as pealed. The loops of the onion are compared to a wedding ring that “shrink” which symbolizes a sense of being trapped. The loops are “platinum”, meaning a very precious metal, which is ironic because the onion is not at all precious or desirable. The words “if you like” are suggesting the relationship could go in this direction, but it is not necessary for the things to inevitably follow. The word “lethal” is on it’s own, showing what the relationship has turned into and drawing attention to it.

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