I have learnt that there are two different attitudes towards love; I have selected four poems that consider this issue and show the poets true thoughts on love. Two of my texts, ‘Leaving Prince Charming Behind,’ written by Karlo Mila and ‘Advice to a discarded Lover,’ written by Fleur Adcock, both look at the theme of love and past relationships in a negative and quite a depressing manner.
Whereas, the other two texts deal with both the poets sweet, happy and more realistic attitude towards the power of true love. To the girl who stood beside me at the checkout counter of Whitcoulls in Hamilton on Tuesday,’ written by Glenn Colohoun and ‘This is love,’ written by Karlo Mila both deal with the positive aspects of love and the journey of love and what it means to them. The two texts ‘Leaving Prince Charming Behind,’ written by Karlo Mila and ‘Advice to a discarded Lover,’ written by Fleur Adcock. Look at the theme of love through two similar ways.
The connection between the texts is the poets stating their sad and negative outlook on love, certain techniques such as metaphors help to demonstrate and illustrate the visual image of both poets’ similar negative perceptions of love and relationships. In the poem, ‘Leaving Prince Charming Behind’ relating to fairy tales clarified that she did not want to be a ‘princess’ anymore. By using a metaphor the poem constantly referred to the fairy tale characters.
The technique was effective in showing the connection between the two texts, as the fairy tale characters provide stereotypes and presumed knowledge. So we assume what is going to happen. However Mila proves our assumption wrong by showing the paradoxical side of each event or character. As a reader we know Rapunzel as a princess in a tower. Mila modifies this image by describing her long hair as ‘shorn. ’ ‘The architect of isolation’ relates to Rapunzel feeling helpless. She has used this to show that she wanted to escape from him and that she did not love him anymore.
The metaphor helps to show the reader, the poet’s negative outlook and idea of what love is, which is not fairy tale is, she describes it to be the complete opposite. This then connects with my second text, ‘Advice to a discarded lover,’ written by Fleur Adcock, as she also uses techniques such as metaphors in her poem to illustrate her negative idea of what love is due to a past relationship. Like the technique discussed previously, metaphors give us a clear image of what love is through the poet’s perspective.
The verbs that were significant in enhancing the metaphor, that she used to describe the relationship, ‘wriggling, munching,’ ‘crawling’ and ‘creeping,’ all relate to someone’s initial reaction on finding a particularly gross bug. His ‘fat, moist warm-skin’ makes him sound revolting, at this stage; she can only be revolted by his actions as she would an insect. The verbs enhance the metaphor as it helps you to see the poet is literally stating that her ex-partner is a disgusting maggoty dead bird.
This is evident when she says, ‘In you I see maggots close to the surface’ so it is clear that she finds him quite unbearable. Therefore this extended metaphor is a sub-connection symbolises and illustrates the author thoughts on love which therefore show the connection with the previous text. This is the same in the texts, ‘This is love’ written by Karlo Mila and ‘To the girl who stood beside me at Whitcoulls bookstore in Hamilton on Tuesday,’ written by Glenn Colquhoun.
The poets also express their perception of love, through a positive, happy and more realistic point of view; as they are more general not just focussing on a past relationship, these poets are not referring to fairy tale illusions, ‘we were living the fairy tale,’ or describing their past relationships to be a dead maggoty worthless bird, ‘a dead bird, not only dead, not only fallen, but full of maggots,’ they are saying what love generally means to them, and they have logic behind this belief therefore their viewpoint seems to be more realistic.
Together the poets have shown that love is a process with several different stages, these stages will not be completed if the relationship is not cared for and nurtured, to create a happy and healthy relationship which is clearly shown in the texts. Therefore I believe this shows the realism of each text compared to the last two, also showing their connection. In the poem ‘This is love,’ written by Karlo Mila, she uses gardening to relate to love, and relationships between lovers; Mila introduces a metaphor by calling her thoughts, ‘the roots’ which have been nurtured and educated over the years to reach her understanding of love.
The image is developed as she watches ‘big hands brown custodial’ place a new plant into the bucket. The tending process of the thoughts and the new seeds are described in detail. ‘Love is the pruning and the watering’ in the seventh stanza shows that Mila realises that love is like a plant that needs to be treated tenderly, pruned back and watered regularly to maintain the relationship, this also supports the idea of showing that the poet believes that love is a journey, and there are many stages in a relationship, but to have a strong healthy and long relationship, it needs to be nurtured and cared for.
So this shows Mila expressing her perception of what she thinks love is, in this case her outlook to me seems to be quite bright, realistic and peaceful. This then connects with my last text, ‘To the girl who stood beside me at the checkout counter at Whitcoulls in Hamilton on Tuesday,’ written by Glenn Colohoun. Again the poet writes his true thought on what he believes love is which also seems to be quite loving and sweet.
This is evident when the poet goes through all the things of what he believes true love is centred around, for example ‘We kissed,’ ‘We married,’ ‘We built a house beside a lake,’ and ‘We grew fat and happy together. ’ All of these are happy things that symbolise what the poet’s initial thoughts and ideas of what he personally believes love is. They also show that this poet believes that love and being in a relationship has several stages, which get more and more significant the longer you stay with one person, and takes time to get to where you may want to be in a relationship.
I believe this is a very logical and positive viewpoint on love, once again showing the connections with the previous text. I think that the idea of love can be portrayed in a number of ways depending on past experiences, which may alter your thoughts and your definition of what love means to you, I believe that people expressing their own idea of love is through different forms not just poetry, was always popular but is becoming more and more popular in today’s society, as on a day to day basis we are surrounded by stereotypes of what love is ‘supposed’ to be like.