“The Flea” by John Donne illustrates the complications and difficulty two people face while in love. Donne, throughout the entirety of the piece, uses the metaphor of a flea mixing the blood of two lovers. During this time during the narration, the two lovers are having a quarrel, and by using the flea as the main image, Donne is illustrating that lovers are connected even through the hardships. When the flea is killed by his female companion, the speaker is in despair because their connection and unity is shattered. This poem, through its imagery, shows the basic struggles and complications individuals face when having relations with others. Another poem of John Donne’s that illustrates the complications of live and love is “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning.” In this poem, Donne describes the farewell of a man and a women, describing the difficulties all people face when having to leave a loved one behind. Through their dialogue, we discover that the speaker believes that even though there will be distance between the two, they will always be united in spirit. This also illustrates the spiritual component of love as well as the ability of making powerful connections with other individuals.
Last semester I volunteered at the Halloween carnival that Best Buddies hosts for individuals in the Baltimore community that have special needs. Although it only lasted a couple of hours, I was able to make lasting connections with the individuals I was blessed to spend time with that day. During the day, I ended up being paired with Greg and after spending a couple of hours with him I was genuinely happy that I had the opportunity to meet new people in the area and help them celebrate the festive holiday. After this, it made me realize that we as humans strive for connectedness with other beings. This is similar to “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” because of the ways Donne describes the relationship the speaker has. He states that “our two souls therefore, which are one, though I must go, endure not yet a breach, but an expansion” (21-23).
“Fox Trot Fridays” by Rita Dove illustrates the easiness and carelessness life and love can create when two people are happy and enjoying life. Dove uses phrases such as “easy as taking one day at a time” and “with no heartbreak in sight--” to demonstrate that love is joyous in its purest form. When I read this poem, it really reminded me of my buddy, Greg, and the day I spent volunteering at the Halloween carnival. Both of these demonstrate that even though life can be difficult and challenges may be thrown our way, its what we take out of our lives that makes us strong individuals ready to live life to the fullest. The fourth poem, “Memorandum” by Billie Bolton, on the other hand, displays the hardships that occur when a relationships breaks off. The structure of the poem demonstrates the real life qualities the author brings up about the deterioration of a connection between two people.
These four poems all demonstrate the different stages of love and relationships that occur in all types of individuals. They represent love, and hate, hardships and longing. In my opinion, these poems all relate to my life, especially with my volunteer work that I have done here at Loyola.