How different love poems and lovers can be

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Hearts and Partners is a group of poems, which show different attitudes to love and relationships. They deal with insincere love, unrequited love and the physical side of love.

The Despairing Lover is a 17th century narrative written by William Walsh. It tells the story of Damon’s unrequited love for Phyllis. Damon goes to the edge of a cliff

“Where a leap from above

Would soon finish his woes.”

We are led to believe that Damon is so desperately unhappy because Phyllis won’t return his love that he is really planning to kill himself. We soon see that his love is insincere and only skin deep. He is very fickle, an anti-hero and the only person he loves is himself. He realises that he could find someone else if he tries to.

“A lover forsaken

A new love may get”

The tone is mocking all the way through the piece, which reveals, that the writer doesn’t take Damon too seriously. There is a definite rhyme scheme throughout the piece, which make the poem humorous and patronising.

Anyone reading the poem would recognise Damon as a stereotypical character. He is seeking attention and he thinks that by acting dramatically he can get it.

Stop all the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone is written by W H Auden. It is a deeply emotional poem about the loss of his lover. The tone throughout the piece is very sombre. The poem is written in rhyming couplets and set verses to give a uniform look.

W H Auden acts like the death of this person is very important and everyone else should be mourning with him. He gives out commands to show what he wants to happen.

He continues to express how important this person was to him and that he was everything in his life

” He was my North, my South, my East and


My working week and my Sunday rest,”

The loss is so great that nothing can ever be good again and life isn’t worth anything. Everyone can relate to the poem as most people have or will lose someone close to them.

I wouldn’t Thank You for a Valentine is a humorous poem written by Liz Lochhead. The poem is about how she doesn’t appreciate the artificial side to Valentines Day. Liz Lochhead has an apparent distaste of the commercialism of it.

“Should 10 red padded satin hearts arrive

with a sticky sickly saccharine

Sentiments in very vulgar verses I wouldn’t wonder if you meant them.”

Her tone throughout the poem is mocking. She isn’t interested in the commercial hype surrounding Valentines Day. She is only interested in sincere love. The title has some irony in it as at the end it shows that if her lover just told her how he felt that she would melt.

” If you sent me a postcard with three Xs and told me how you felt

I wouldn’t thank you I’d melt.”

This poem shows the humorous side of love but also has a deeper meaning. To the writer love isn’t about roses and soppy poems, love is about how two people feel for each other and being able to express their feelings without having all the commercial hype surrounding love. She doesn’t think that her partner needs to buy her expensive gifts to show her how he feels. He just needs to tell her.

We enjoyed reading this collection of poems. Liz Lochhead’s cynical view of love made us laugh but we were moved by W H Auden’s Stop all the Clocks, Cut off the Telephone and William Walsh’s despairing lover made us take pity on Damon. Each writer has a different view on love, which is clear in every poem. W.H Auden shows us the pain caused by the loss of someone you love. Liz Lochhead shows us how she is interested in the actual meaning of love the connection between two people and not the commercial hype surrounding it. William Walsh’s view on love is that you shouldn’t commit to it unless you really mean it.

It is clear that the views on love have stayed the same over time but more writers are addressing the subjects that haven’t been addressed before.

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