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Interpretation of Poem “a Red, Red, Rose” – Robert Burns

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“A Red, Red Rose” is a poem composed by Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. It was first published in 1794 in a collection of traditional Scottish songs set to music

Burns’s poem was inspired both by a simple Scots song he had heard in the country and by published ballads from the period. The poem has the form of a ballad and is meant to be sung aloud.

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Using the word “And” at the beginning of the lines the poem puts emphasis on the adding on of times and situation. The capitalization adds a stronger meaning to his continuing love rather than deathbed promises. “And I will love thee still my Dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry.” “Till a’ the Seas gang dry, my Dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun: And I will luve thee still my Dear, While the sand o’ life shall run.” These lines give various examples of situations that will take a long time to occur, which further supports that Burns plans on being here for a long time. The use of “While” (12) rather than until directs the reader to something that is happening now, almost like they can watch the sand run through an hourglass. In “A Red, Red Rose” there is a sense of building momentum

The scenes that are comparison of love in “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,” suggest the peeling back of layers, like a flower opens up. The last part of the poem suggest that Burns will be going away for awhile, but not dying. Burns conveys the message to readers that “As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,” that his love is young in age.

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Analyzing the poem, it is comprised of four-line stanzas. It follows a masculine rhyme where the second and fourth stanzas rhyme with one another (Elia 1). Likewise, the poem is an iambic tetrameter and each line is composed of eight syllables. Assessing the piece further, Burns utilizes different figures of speech in order to provide meaning to readers. For instance, the use of simile can be seen in the first stanza while hyperbole, a form of exaggeration can be seen in the second stanza (Elia 1).Lastly, Burns connects the professed love in the poem to the natural world. Specifically, different lines in the poem connect the emotions of the speaker to the things happening in nature. Arguably, each part has its corresponding meaning in influencing the feelings of the speaker in the poem. For example, the ability to show enduring love is compared to the time when seas would dry up, which remains to be long and difficult to happen

By establishing these connections, Burns is able to convey that the feelings of love remain to be natural and difficult to change (Humanities.Washington.edu 1).

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By and large, Robert Burns has created many magnificent poems but the most charming, is “Oh, my love is like a red, red rose”

This poem is the essence of all his artistic creativity. He has a particular merit because relying on folklore and the dialect of his country; he created a modern art that does not only belong to the culture of his country but all over the world culture. With his genius, Burns fascinates the reader by transforming Scottish folk songs into marvelous poems.

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Burns, Robert. ‘A Red, Red Rose’ Poetry Foundation.org. Web. Accessed 28 August 2014.

Elia, Anas. Literary Analysis of Robert Burns’ A Red, Red Rose, 25 March 2013. Web. Accessed 28 August 2014.

Humanities.Washington.edu.Robert Burns: A Red, Red Rose. 2013. Presentation.

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