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"a red, red rose”, "love is not all: it is not meat nor drink” and "sonnet 116”

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Love is the most beautiful thing in one’s life, and many artists have tried to praise it in many ways. I am going to use 3 poems, “ A red, Red Rose”, “ Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink” and “ Sonnet 116”, to discover how they express the significance of love and what the importance it is that love would be in man’s mind.

Love is an abstractive concept; therefore, poets have to use concrete elements to show the depth of love. Instead of using a lot of adjectives to describe love, it is better to use objects which we can see, touch, smell and hear. Let’s look at “ A Red, Red Rose. Robert Burns use two similes to compare love to a very red rose and melody which is played in tune. Therefore, we can see the passionate color red as love’s passion, touch the soft petals of love’s flower, rose, as love’s fragility and hear music of satisfaction when two lovers fall in love.

It is more vivid when speaker used overstatements to vow his determination to love his dear. Such as “ till a’ the seas gang dry(8)” and “ while the sands o’life shall run(12)” both exaggerate oaths lovers can actually make. People say romantic words of such to sigh with emotion so we can even feel the love’s heat of the speaker. The poem is full of romantic words and overstatements.

Therefore, it is like the lyric of popular song in the present time. But these overstatements in “ A Red, Red Rose” sound like clichi?? s to we readers. Metaphors of love in “ Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink” of Millay are more interesting and more creative to us. The poem starts with a series of negations. It denies that love is this and that, and it brings us a refreshing impression on what love relates to.

Then it tells us what love is. But later on the poet says, “ I might be driven to sell your love for peace/Or trade the memory of this night for food/It well may be. I do not think I would(12-14). ” He uses understatements to say he never sells nor trades love for physical or spiritual satisfaction. Therefore, he affirms that love indeed has higher status than any other things, and if we consider what he denies in former poem, he actually says that love is everything in his life. What the poet denies set off by contrast what he affirms, and thus we can guess the poet uses the skill that he can’t help confessing how important love is in his life to set a strong base for what love is when comparing material aspect and spiritual one.

Such metaphors and negations also appear in “ Sonnet 116. ” Although both of the two poems use the same technique, Shakespeare’s poem is better than Millay’s. It is because Shakespeare adds narrative opinions of love. Such as “? Love? looks on tempests and is never shaken(6) and “? love’s ? worth’s unknown.

Although his height be taken(8). ” Thus the poem reaches deeper core of what love is. Also, love is personified in “ Sonnet 116. ” That makes “ love” alive, which can be made friend with. In” Sonnet 116,” love is not only a temporary friend, but also he won’t betray us and is an eternal fellow.

This is Shakespeare’s typical romantic writing style. Love is shown its spiritual meaning. Compared to “ Sonnet 116,” in Millay’s poem, love is rather substantial benefit. And in Robert’s poem, love seems a green apple to very new lovers who want to have love. We can conclude that these three poems all praise love’s bright side but not to mention the dark side. All pain, sorrow and hurt about love and of love are omitted.

Maybe they only appear in popular love songs of lamentation in nowadays. Poems anyway are more beautiful than song lyrics, and then expectation and belief of love are better created and more moved in art. If we observe these three poems, we can see deeper and deeper description from the poem of Robert’s to Millay’s then to Shakespeare’s. In “ A Red, Red Rose,” the sentences are like what we would say or write to our lovers. We promise we will love him/her forever and ever. We wouldn’t think that these promises are impossible to achieve.

We just want to express our passion with every miracle and we just see our lovers only. Natural wonders are best things for us to be compared with-roses, seas, and rocks. In “ Sonnet 116”, love is also compared with the North Star. These wonders are so beautiful and strong that we know our love won’t change so easily. After sweet vows, we start to consider what love can do for us.

In “ Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink,” the poet tries to analyze love physically. She acts like a physician or a doctor to check the function of love. So what can love do? It can’t help anything nor solve any trouble, and it seems useless. But love is more than that. I have heard someone say,” Not time can heal the wounds, but love does. ” Some spiritual wounds can’t healed by doctors, and some safe and comfortable place can’t constructed by architects.

But love can do these things for us. After we know what love can do, we should think about the essence of love. In “ Sonnet 116,” the poet says that love is eternal, and it won’t alter nor remove. It is a light house to lost people, who are spiritual lost. It is the brightest star when we are in the dark.

It can compete with Time, or moreover, it can conquer Time. When you are in spiritual storm, you can relay on Love. The most important of all, you can’t measure the worth of love because it is invaluable. I especially like the sentence: “? Love? is the star to every wande’ring bark/ whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken(7-8). ” To every person, love means differently from one to another, and love is expressed in various ways.

For centuries, love has been always the beautiful topic for artists. From reading poems, we can not only see the skills poets write about love but also know how they see and treat the theme of love. And love seems never faded with time and natural things.

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