Pleasures And Obligations Of Love English Literature Essay


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Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) was a Soviet-Russian-American poet. He received the Nobel Prized in Literature in 1987 and was named Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress in 1991. Among the poem that Brodsky wrote, "Love Song" is a significant and outstanding poem. Joseph Brodsky's poem "Love Song" expresses an adoring yet passionate love that the speaker has for the subject. However, although he is attempting to romance her and treat her as his equal, at the same time he wants to dominate her. "Love Song" represents the voice of most men in our society today. Nowadays men do make great efforts to please women, but their need to dominate them is greater. The speakers' figurative language allows the reader to imagine how intense he feels about his love, the subject. A reflection on Brodsky's "Love Song" will highlight how men overpower women.

On the other hand, in lines three and four from stanzas one to three the tone changes. The speaker comes across as being domineering and aggressive. Although the speaker seems eager to impress and romance the subject with his decent intentions he tends to show a deep seated yearning to own and overpower her with his masculinity. He attempts to please her and adapts to suit her but he is more fixated on being in control. Later in the first stanza says that he would arrest the same person he would rescue. He also stated that "if [he] were a sergeant, [the subject]'d be [his] recruit" (line 7).

In addition, each stanza in "Love Song" seems to reveal that the speaker is at first pleasing her but then opposing her. He at first uses sweet romantic language then suddenly uses strong words like "arrest", "keep" and "storm". Furthermore, the speaker imagines himself as a "sheriff' and a "sergeant". This conveys his need to take on these authoritative roles to control her through his statements: "If I were a sheriff, I'd arrest you and keep you in the cell under lock and key" (line 3 and 4) and "If I were a sergeant, you'd be my recruit, and boy i can assure you you'd love the drill" (line 7 and 8). In society today, men hold most of the authoritative positions. The ratio of women involved in politics is much less compared to the male ratio.

Besides that, the flow of the poem is easy to follow whereas there are some parts that only reserve half rhyme. In stanzas two, three and four, the end rhyme at every first and third line differ; "record, recruit" "languages, Ladies" "lava, lover". In the first stanza, the end rhyme is significant with the words "rescue, you" "tea, key". However, in the next verse, only the second and fourth rhymes, 'trill' and 'drill', rhyme perfectly. The poem's rhyme scheme, though, serves to interconnect these seemingly separate two-line declarations. Each stanza seems to have a similar pattern however the last stanza has an abrupt ending with the last two lines of the poem:

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