Monday, January 31, 2011

Poem Analysis

The Flea, Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, Fox Trot Fridays, and Memorandum, all shares a common thread, love between men and women. While some poems are used to express love, others are manipulated to ask for love.

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne is a farewell to his beloved wife. He asks his wife not to mourn his departure. He compares his leave from his wife to that of men from their souls. Let her mourn for him without tears and much sadness; so that they may keep their deep love to themselves and protect it from public “profanation”. Using a metaphor of the “earth” and “sphere”, Donne points out that there are two kinds of love, one of bodily and one of spiritually. Donne concludes that the love between him and his wife is of the latter because they do not just love each other physically but more importantly in spirit. Their love is compared to the “spheres” instead of the “earth. Their love for each other is so profound that it cannot be experienced by people on earth just like the “trepidation of spheres”. Additionally, their love will survive the distance. Finally, Donne suggests that he and his wife are like the two legs of a compass. She is fixed in the center, but when he moves, so is she. They cannot live without another.

John Donne’s poem, The Flea, is a playful take on his expression of love to his beloved one. He begins with innocent comments on a flea, how it has “sucked” both the blood of him and his object of affection and combined the two into one. This explanation of the flea is a sexual innuendo on how the girl should sleep with him. Furthermore, Donne said there is no “sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead” associated with this union. Their union could also result in a pregnancy as indicated by the line “pampered swells with one blood made of two”. Donne also asks the girl to spare the flea so to save three lives, his, hers, and the flea’s. Donne repeats how they are already united and married inside the flea. He asks the girl again not to kill the flea for she would commit “three sins in killing three”. When his beloved one does kill the flea, Donne describes her hand as “cruel and sudden” and scolds her because the flea was harmless to her except for taking one drop of blood from her. Donne compares the killing of the flea to the ending of their love. Donne continues by saying that neither of them got weaker as a result of the flea, so their union would do no harm as well. Thus the girl should consider to be with him.

Fox Trot Fridays by Rita Dove depicts a dance scene. By research, the main characteristic of fox trot dance is its long and flowing movement. Likewise, the rhythm of the poem follows the same characteristic. Although, the poem is broken into nine stanzas, each flows to the next. Dove’s description of a man and a woman dancing right next to each other depicts a rather dreamy scene. Her choice of words, such as “sweep” further elaborates on the theme of long and flowing movement.

Billie Bolton made clear what her claim is in her poem, Memorandum that she does not want to hear from her boyfriend ever again. However, it is also ironic. The author plans to not have any contact with her boyfriend, yet she is going to remember a list of things about him. What separates this memo from the conventional ones is that everything is described in detail. Often, a memo is short so it is easy to remember. Not only so, Bolton even separated the memo into four categories, “your addled thoughts”, “your wireless connection”. “your adolescent only child” and “your significant others (female)”. Each progresses in the level of importance. Each category made a bigger impact on the author than the level before. From thought to actual incidents, the author seems to get angrier and more personal.

Through different elements of writing, each author exams different perspectives of love.

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