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lecture notes on poems

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University of Toronto Scarborough

A. Imagery (1): Roses are Red: Of Roses and Hearts Shakespeare Sonnet 130 21 The sonnet is an example of a blazon (a list of the qualities of the different parts of the beloveds body), but in this case the speaker deliberately says the beloved is NOT as fair as the sun, as white as snow, as red as roses. All those usual poetic images feel false. The speaker marks his sincerity by rejecting them. Currall: coral Brests: breasts Wiers: wires Burns A Red, Red Rose 148 A famous love song. Gang: go Sands o life: the image is of an hourglass Carson Tango IX: But What Word Was It 939 The speaker is a woman recalling an episode with a lover when she was still a girl and living at home. The family had recently moved but her suitor from the old town simply appeared one day. He gave her eleven roses, ten white and one red. Her mother thinks that the one red rose has meaning: that it means the daughter lost her virginity. She can smell sex on her daughter (l.35). The daughter feels caught between forces: her lover who refuses to tell her things and her mother who insists on knowing things.
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