Tran UP 3 - Unit 3 Tyler Tran In his poem Lovesong, Ted...

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Unit 3 Tyler Tran In his poem “Lovesong,” Ted Hughes describes a sexual encounter filled with both lust and passion, which ironically shows negative feelings from both parties despite superficial enjoyment. The poem consistently uses language which evokes negative feelings about the situation, showing a relationship that likely lasts simply out of convenience. Hughes uses images of lust and figurative language, such as metaphors, to convey a theme of hidden resentment. This lustful imagery and sexual parallels are ironic because of the similarities of the poem with Hughes’ own life and alleged abusive marriage to the suicidal Sylvia Plath. Hughes’ poem is separated into three different sections, representing the stages of a sexual act. The first two stanzas represent foreplay between the two individuals or a process of attraction. The actions described are obviously sexual, also displaying a sense of masochism. The language describes a very involved moment, evident as “His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to” (line 2). Though this could be interpreted as the male simply being focused on his intimacy, this line could also show him taking the female’s innocence forcefully and trying to win her future, becoming the only prominent figure in her life. The female also shows signs of desire, especially when “She wanted him complete inside her/Safe and Sure forever and ever” (lines 5-6). This statement displays a certain dissatisfaction with the relationship and a longing for more. The fact that she wanted the male complete inside her can be viewed both literally, in the sense that she wanted him inside of her sexually, and figuratively, in the sense that she wanted him to be closer to her emotionally and with longevity. This line displays the female’s desire to consume the man, taking possession of him either in a romantic notion or in one of a competitive spirit, as if she has the upper hand over him. The relationship is parasitic to
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both the man and the woman, removing them from their former lives and from society in general, as displayed when “Their little cries fluttered into the curtains” (line 7), showing a type of self- inflicted pain in the name of their relationship. The third and longest stanza of “Lovesong” represents the actual act of sex. Hughes uses metaphors, many exuding negative imagery, to show the bittersweet aspects of the couple’s relationship. These metaphors are often animalistic or aggressive, and show an underlying resentment hidden beneath superficially positive interactions. An example of this resentment is when it is said that “Her smiles were spider bites/So he would lie still till she felt hungry” (lines 19-20). This metaphor shows selfish motives fueling the lust and desire which is displayed in the poem. The metaphors become more violent and graphic, stating that “Her laughs were an
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Tran UP 3 - Unit 3 Tyler Tran In his poem Lovesong, Ted...

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