Love is largely a relative concept, with its construction often varying from society to society, generation to generation and in the present world even from individual to individual. The feelings, thoughts, actions and utterances that convey love often vary depending on the precise contexts within which the love exists. It can however be appreciated that the presence of love as a theme continues to be seen across various forms of literature, with poetry standing out as a one of the common residents of thematized love. In order to appreciate the value and nature of love, it is often important for reader to consider a number of things, among them the exact context of love within the stated piece of literature. In this paper, the argument will be that there are various types of love but each one of them is seen in the expressions of the persona. Especially in their description of the object of their love, and in the way they relate to them. The poems that will be considered include Love Virtually, Letter to the Twins and Daddy. All these poems present a case of love, from the persona towards another person but they are all different in their contexts. This essay examines how various kinds of love are mainstreamed into themes in the three types of poems namely; Love Virtually, Letter to the Twins and Daddy.
This is a rather contradictory poem with two different love stories. The first one is that of an individual who comes home to emptiness and is thus lamenting the loss of his love. The persona narrates their pain at being abandoned by their beloved, and even blames himself for not having had the time to indulge. In the first part of the poem, it is clear that there has been some misunderstanding between the persona and their beloved. This is especially evident in the fact that they find their house rather empty and cold, with all the aspects that made it a home being gone. There are various ways to appreciate the context of love as thematized in this piece. First, the type of love portrayed here is romantic love, with the persona presumably a husband who is left by his wife. In the poem, the persona sights that he may have failed in tidiness or worship, which implies that to him, love is all about doing what is expected of him. Thematizing romantic love often involves expressing feelings of longing, satisfaction, appreciation and understanding. In this case, there is a real possibility that the personas first emotion when he laments What is it that I missed? is regret and longing. Having established that he had been left, he is unable to quench his desire for the companionship. The second part of the poem then considers a situation in which the persona thinks of a beloved that he is yet to meet. The love in this case is also romantic, although they are yet to meet and the persona is only two months old. The thematization here comes within the context of a supernatural union that would bind those involved long before they met.
It can thus be appreciated from these two cases that romantic love is mainly an unexplained feeling that is manifested with desire and longing. In these cases, the common factor is the irrationality with which the poems express the love. The first case portrays love as a mutual feeling built on understanding and functionality, where the persona was only relevant for as long as he kept his side of the deal, in this case only explained as tidiness and worship. He was left by his beloved, and in many ways he found it justifiable on the basis of failing in his expression of love. This presents the possibility that love in this context is a functional concept, where people only stay together for as long as they can tolerate each others shortcomings. In the second part of the poem, the concept of love is portrayed as something that is inborn. The persona finds it unlikely that his soul mate would know of his existence but he presumes that she does exist. By falling in love at about eight years, he is able to state clearly of loves significance to his being as a human boy who meets and likes a pretty girl. This brings love out as a basic concept that has no complex requirements that would otherwise make it a rather difficult theme to explore. This poem thus brings out romantic love in its most basic context, which in this case mostly revolves around companionship as a basic need, and in some cases functionality as seen when the first persona is left by his wife. Here, it can thus be appreciated that the poet is able to thematize love by bringing forth the context within which the two different personas feel and define their feelings towards the object of their affection.
You may also learn about poem in our article: “How to Write a Poem That Touches Hearts”
Letter to the twins
This poem is mainly an instruction in the ways of the world, from an uncle to the twins who in this case are presumed to have grown up lacking in terms of proper parenting and guidance into manhood. The poem thus offers instructions on how these young men can relate with women, how to treat them well and to think of them in a way that is proper and thus acceptable. It can be appreciated that there are two types of love thematized here, the first one being that of the uncle towards his supposed nephews. At the beginning of the poem, there is a great and deep apology on the circumstances that the twins have had to endure while growing up. The persona apologizes for among other things not being able to instruct them in the ways of men. This indicates some elements of fatherly love, from a man wanting to prepare his nephews for a life of adulthood. He expresses that he has failed in his obligation, not because he owes it to them but more because he willed to offer them the instructions and guidance.
More often than not, this kind of love is thematized through expressions of genuine concern and affection. The persona in this case is not really concerned about the functionality of his relationship with the twins. Instead, he focuses more on making them adequate men in Roman society. He focuses more on training them on the ways of the world, even in his absence thus indicating some selfless motivations on his part. It can be noted here that fatherly love is thus thematized as the underlying motivation that inspires the writing on the piece in the first place. It is thus in this case structured as an undertone that illuminates the entire poem, justifying the effort of the uncle in his detailed instructions throughout the piece.
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There is also some extensive consideration of romantic, or rather sexual love. In order to be considered as adequate men within Roman society, the twins had to be educated in the art of loving a woman respectfully. The persona instructs the twins in numerous concepts but he focuses a lot on the art of making love and this indicates some great significance in the role of ones lover. He states that ones lover should be able to guide them home, or at least to remind them of home regardless of where they are. This indicates a great connection between ones love and their strength of mind. The theme here is brought out as an entire subject that the persona dwells on significantly, so much so that it may be argued that it is a major aspect of the entire piece. The persona may not have set out to engage his sons in the ways of carnal gratification but he ends up offering some vivid instructions in their relations with their women. It can thus be noted that in this case, love is thematized through a description of physical indulgences.
This poem is a little vague on its standing with regards to the personas feelings towards their father. The title of the poem thematizes love because it is an affectionate title for father. It can be appreciated that the persona lives in a society that does not use the term daddy as often as other societies and thus the use of this title is rather indicative of some warm feelings towards the subject that is being discussed. The father may not have spent much time with the persona but there is a clear bond that is in this case manifested numerously within the poem. The theme of love is in this case thus presented within two contradicting contexts. The first one is in a positive light, as that of a child who actually loves their father. In the third line of the third stanza, the persona confesses to praying in order to recover their father. This indicates some form of innate bond for a man that they knew practically nothing about. This means that love here is all about natural bonds that are often not controlled by circumstances. The persona had every right to hate their father but instead they consistently worry enough to look for him and even pray to recover him. This is the love for a parent, and the child in this case is portrayed to have some infinite love that went beyond the iniquities and abandonment suffered because of an absent father.
Another sensitive concept that can be appreciated here is that of a child who is angry to the point of hating their parent. The absence of a father in this case is considerably consequential to the point that the child is able to obsess and think every German to be his father. He even hates the language and considers it obscene because he thinks of his father as a rather obscene and thus immoral man. The theme portrayed here is still love, in an inadequate and bizarre way. The absence of love is not always considered as hate, as hate is actually a form of love in its own right. Had the persona not cared enough to feel hurt by the abandonment or struck by his fathers absence and eventual death, there could have been a striking gap on the idea of parental love. The feelings here however, no matter how negative, are indicative of a presence of love in a very bitter and rather confusing form. The persona is unable to concede to his feelings towards his father, and although he continues to call him Daddy it is rather clear that he is dealing with a lot of unresolved issues that make him negative towards his father. From the poem, this is very justifiable. It can thus be appreciated within this context that the concept of love is thematized as an ironic feeling in a situation that is otherwise permeated with hatred and anger.
Another situation in which love is thematized within this poem is in the concept of fear. The persona states in the first line of the ninth stanza that he was always afraid of his father. Most people would argue that there is often very little correlation between love and fear. In the tenth stanza however, the persona proclaims Every woman adores a Fascist thus indicating the possibility that he sees some redeeming qualities in him. This line has numerous possible indications but the strongest one in this case would be that despite his absence and possible cruelty, the father was a transactional individual with the ability to always do what he had to do in order to achieve the set goals and objectives. This line presents some possible admiration that the personal holds for his father, thus confirming the idea that, fear in this case is not entirely negative but rather also some exaggerated feelings of respect towards an individual that the persona did not know how to relate with.
There are so many pieces of literature that thematize love in a way that is relevant to the setting and the social constructs that are applicable to the author at the time of the writing. This means that in most cases, the thematization of love is indicative of the nature of the poem. In all the three poems discussed above, it can be appreciated that the different kinds of love are all thematized rather differently in order to bring out their actual value and impact on the lover and the beloved. With this in mind, it can be appreciated that Love Virtually, Letter to the Twins, and Daddy are all significant pieces hinged on the concept of love in its various forms as dictated by the various societies within which each is set. The uniqueness of love is thus presented adequately especially in the way that each society and in some cases individual is able to derive relevance out of the concept.