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Summary of Valentine Poem

Summary of Valentine Poem

Summary of Valentine Poem | There is a concept about valentine’s day in the “Valentine” poem. But it is not all about the full concept of it. Mainly love is the main part and concept of the poem. Carol Ann Duffy, the author of the poem, is a post-modern poet and contemporary poet as well. There are several new things that sustain in that poem.


The poem is structurally unique, ideas are in term of radical and it is radical both in style and esthetics. While the poem progresses, it actually shows different phases, different stages of love affairs that are portraited in part by part. Before going to The Summary of Valentine Poem; let’s read the poem.


Carol Ann Duffy.

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.



It will blind you with tears like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.


Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
If you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

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What is the Summary of Valentine Poem

In the very first line, the poem starts with a negative reaction “not”. The speaker will not give either a red rose or, stain heart to the speaker’s lover. Both satin hearts and red rose are the traditional symbol and concern of love. In the very first line, the poet as well as the speaker is rejecting that proposal of giving gifts in love. That means the poet is rejecting the traditional way of giving gifts in love. The speaker will receive a gift and also take gifts. Both of these will be taken. Love will be taken and given. But the speaker will not be conventional. The speaker will be unique, unpredictable, and orthodox in giving gifts rather than a red rose or, a satin heart. The gift will be given something else by her.

The second line which is uttered by the speaker is quite radical. The speaker is coming up with an alternative and unconventional symbol of love. In the second line, she is using a metaphor. Wonderful gifts should be given in the colorful wrapped paper. Just like an onion is wrapped in brown paper, as the thought of the poet that we can see.

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The Summary of Valentine Poem

On the basis of the second line, we got to know what actually the poet tries to reveal. That gift is given and the actual gift is the promise which is already given. Every relationship starts with a promise whether it’s a relationship or, marriage. These are might be such like that – “ I will never be let you alone, I will never be let you down. I will always be with you.” Many expressions are shown while proposing, but unfortunately, promises are often made to be broken.

The fourth line starts with a metaphor again. By using the metaphor “Onion” again, we can actually describe or, interpret the whole love as well as the entire part of love which is related to the poem and the deeper thoughts are given to be understood. To get the onion, it has to be unwrapped. The process of undressing the onion is such kinds of the part of physical intercourse.

Using the symbol “Onion”, there are so many things that can be done. These are such as gifts, promises, propose and lovemaking which is physical intercourse, said by the poet or, speaker. Onion cannot be gotten unless it is been wrapped. Actually just like that lovemaking. While having sexual intercourse, we need to undress our beloved female partner. For lovemaking undressing is necessary.

The Summary of Valentine Poem

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The Summary of Valentine Poem

The speaker mentions careful undressing. Because we never should be in a hurry while undressing the partner. Each of the works should be executed in the proper way. So that the ego, respect, sentiment get respect. These are the facts that the speaker of the poem tries to make us understood indirectly.

When we are too much involved in love, there are a bunch of desires and everything. But once we got deeper into the relationship; regardless the gender, the emotion of crying comes, said by the speaker. When any person cries, there will be wobbling while he or, she will be crying. When a person cries, his or her cries seem unclear and wobbling. We can see love often leads to crying or, tears. When we try to get to the heart of the onion,  it makes us cry. Similarly, when love is reached into the heart, it becomes a matter of emotion.

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The Summary of Valentine Poem

It actually makes us cry. And similarly, before reaching into the core or, visualizing the heart of an onion, there are processes of cutting, wrapping, etc. And the tear comes. In the mean-time, not only tear comes, on the way of getting reached into the deeper intense or step, but also to get deeper someone’s heart. Here, onion represents humans. The speaker of the poem tries to be truthful. There is a stage in love where truthfulness exists and becomes the biggest matter. Each partner of a couple is concerned whether he or, she is truthful, faithful, loyal, and committed or, not. After a stage, these things are highly concerned.

Here come many complications. And the fact is, rejection came by two traditional symbols of love. One is a card and another one is a kissogram actually. Cute cards will not be given to the partner and also any kissogram. The poet also mentions that the kiss of onion is violent, and that kind of fierce kiss is wanted by the speaker for giving it to her partner’s lips.

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The Summary of Valentine Poem

That fierce kiss of such as onion will stay longer to her partner’s lips. There comes the possessiveness of love.  Such its fierce kiss is not actually a gentle, romantic kiss and which is actually possessive and violent as well. In fierce love, we are by default. We are supposed to be faithful. Here are arising some questions due to one thing. That one position can destroy each and every relationship that is possessiveness and unhealthy things.

Whenever the sense of the idea of possessiveness comes, it starts spreading toxic to each and every relationship. It doesn’t give liberty, respect, comfort, scope to take a breath to the lovers. Possessiveness is never appreciated in love. None should interfere with one’s liberty. Too many restrictions increase jeopardizing liberty. The speaker says that as a couple, they are possessive and faithful like onions. The speaker says that they will be possessive and faithful as they are, and as long as they are. After that, the speaker mentions they will be faithful as long as they are surviving on the earth.

The Summary of Valentine Poem

They will remain so. Here the confusions are surrounding. At this stage of the poem, we can see that love is taking an unhealthy turn because of possessiveness, suspicion, and disrespect. When such complications come into a relationship, the tone of the poem changes. Here come the dominations.

To avoid such a negative effect on love, these are mentioned in the entire poem. Here comes the concept of having marriage or, engagement which is necessary for love. Although marriage or, engagement is necessary for love, these should not be relevant if there exists confusion in love. Having that process doesn’t get or. processed in true love. If confusion comes, the solution must be needed. Otherwise becoming apart should be a good idea.  The relationship becomes lethal, toxic, and poisonous when the relationship becomes unhealthy. After being the onion cut off, many small loops are created.

The Summary of Valentine Poem

Its color looks like platinum. Those loops of onion can be visualized as wedding loops. It’s not a desirable thing of having that type of ring instead of golden, diamond or, platinum ring. The chemistry of love is gone! After cutting off the onion and a certain time later, it’s flavor becomes toxic and acidic.

If we cut off the onion into 1000 pieces, and also cut off the love that we have given to our lovers, a thing could happen which is revealed by the speaker of the poem. That will fiercely cling to our fingers. After being got a break – up or, divorced, the past memories, nightmares will haunt us forever and after. The poem ends with an unpleasant and pathetic way.   


Author: Avijit Chakrabarty Pritam. 

Department: English Literature. 

Institution: Notre Dame University Bangladesh.

Member of “ARE Writers Community”.

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