Revision notes: ‘This is Love’ by Karlo Mila (Acknowledgements: adapted from an online resource from Botany Downs High School) SUBJECT: WHAT IS THIS POEM ABOUT? It is about the nature of Love. That it has more to it than meets the eye. It is not always a superficial feeling. The poet is telling us that love involves a deeper understanding, cut backs, joys, passions and sorrows which may hurt at times. Maintaining love means looking after both people involved carefully and truthfully in a relationship It shows us that Love is a commitment. True love is supposed to be ‘forever’ but these days this often does not happen because people are not prepared to commit or see through the good times and the bad. Love has to be cared for, the ‘bad’ parts cut out and the ‘good’ parts looked after. It also reminds us not to mistake love for lust or passion as this does not last long, only as long as flowers are in bloom. They look beautiful, smell delicious, feel good, but they and true love will ‘die’ very quickly. Love is a slow tending and cutting back of a delicate plant. It has to survive good and bad times. QUOTES THAT SUPPORT THE MAIN IDEA OF THE POEM “What love is /this understanding I’ve created over the years/” reinforces the voice of the poet in explaining her coming to understand the nature of love and what it actually entails. “Love is/the pruning/ the watering/the pruning/the tending/’ gives a clear idea of the effort involved in committing yourself to another person . Sometimes this is not easy or plain sailing and it can be hurtful, but if you persevere love can last. The line ‘not something / behind their ears /in full bloom’ explains clearly the message that flowers and love only ‘blooms’ (or you experience pure passion) for a short time. It can not be sustained; therefore love is not skin deep (that is, do not just look at a person for their appearance; look deeper and see if you ‘fit’ as a couple) IDEAS IN THE POEM Love is at the base of all human relationships, but it is sometimes mistaken for surface attraction and so it may not last long. Like a part of nature, love can be a temporary experience, like roses ‘cut at the height of their passion’ or one that is long lasting ‘endurance through every day’. But the deeper nature of a relationship largely depends on how much two people are prepared to put into it, ‘watering/tending/ a careful eye at the end of the day’. Some people do not want commitment and prefer the fleeting passion to the deeper caring aspect of love. If this is the case, the relationship will be like the full bloom of flowers and they, like passion will soon ‘die’ just as quickly The poet’s voice recognises the differences between the two aspects of human relationships. In this poem, the poet believes clearly that ‘love is not something one simply wears behind their ears in full bloom’ KEY LANGUAGE TECHNIQUES USED IN THE POEM QUOTE TECHNIQUE EFFECT ‘you’ve taken/the extended Effect: This is to create the image of love as the careful tending of an roots of /my thoughts metaphor ever-growing plant. The image of how love should grow like a plant on/ what love is/’ well tended is prevalent throughout this poem. Also her partner has taken the role of teaching her what it means to love in reality. ‘so ripe/so red/’ alliteration Effect :The word ‘ripe’ is like the idea of passion and ‘red’ is a colour we associate with love so this is a memorable way the poet has of bringing our attention to what love means to most people. ‘Papatoetoe sun’ use of proper Effect: The proper noun places the poet and grounds the setting as in nouns New Zealand. This adds to its reality for the reader. ‘it is seeds sown in metaphor Effect: to show how love begins from small events or words and there the hopeful is an uncertainty as to whether these ‘seeds’ will grow or survive. This spring/hiccups of is quite believable because love when it first begins is uncertain. hope’ ‘scattered alliteration Effect: The repeated s sound makes these words flow together. Just sheets/seed spread as flowers begin to grow, so may love. This is memorable as love bed/’ needs to be planted and ‘take’ for it to be a success. “ it is shedding dead metaphor Effect: Love is not always easy and like the seasons, it may change leaves in autumn” and there may have to be compromises (one person “shedding” or changing a certain habit for example) for it to survive. ’hopeful spring’ and contrast Effect: The poet draws a picture of contrast between the seasons. We ‘autumn’ know that one symbolises beginnings and the other endings/change and this is what love can reflect too. ‘and you prune/ metaphor Effect: The poet talks about cutting away the ‘dead’ parts, the parts in me/cutting fingertips the relationship that cause pain or simply do not work. This is tenderly/bleeding important because the union may need rejuvenation or the people softly into soil/’ need a good look at themselves. The ‘bleeding’ is like the blood and bone used to fertilize plants (love ) to make it grow. This is a clever combination of ideas to impose a point and reinforce the main idea. “love is not a bunch metaphor Effect: This is effective because it is a negative statement, a strong of red roses’ opinion that the poet is very certain about There is no doubt that she realises love is more than it appears on the surface. ‘love is/ the repetition Effect: The attitude of the poet is clearly direct and sincere – this is pruning/the shown through he repeated use of simple ‘gardening’ words. The poet watering/the suggests that to make any relationship work it is necessary to ‘prune pruning/the tending’ away’ the dead wood and start anew in some circumstances. ‘love is not metaphor Effect: The poet is saying that love does not have to be obvious and something one on display to be real; that relationships that matter last longer than a simply wears behind flower in full bloom and that they have to be worked at to remain their ears in full viable. bloom.’ ‘there will be many Connotative Effect: These words “rain” and “winter” are associated with the hard winters/ soaked with words, times in a relationship and the suggestion of whether the relationship rain/frost on car imagery will survive or not. The image is woven into the idea of the cold window mornings’ seasons. ‘You say, You’ve, personal Effect: the poet is very clearly speaking directly to her partner and is You prune’ pronouns appreciative of his teaching her the value of what love means. It also puts the reader into the position of the lover so we LAYOUT / STRUCTURE The layout of the poem is very unusual as the poet has constantly broken the lines in each stanza. The effect is to focus the reader on the extended metaphor which takes the idea of love as a living part of Nature that endures and compares it to superficial love as a blooming temporary end result that does not last. For example, the first line ‘you’ve taken/the roots of/ my thoughts on/what love is/’ shows firstly that she is talking to her partner using the personal pronoun, ‘you’ and has listened to his ideas that the beginnings (roots) of their love which have grown over the years ‘so ripe/so red/ are safe in his ‘big hands/brown/custodial’ which reinforces the fact that she is suggesting he is capable, reliable and can be trusted with her feelings. This produces a stop/start effect which makes the reader pause and really think about what she is saying because the topic is a serious one. The layout of the lines balance in that it begins with three lines and ends with three lines with the difference that the first two lines cheekily rhyme, “love is not something one simply wears..behind their ears” and the last line “in full bloom” echoes the image of her idea of superficial love as opposed to the hard enduring love that is preferable. The poem also has a definite break in the stanzas, where the first half talks about what love should be and the second half talks about what love should not be.
Pages to are hidden for
"Assessment Schedule for Love and Loss"Please download to view full document