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The Poem “Love Opened a Mortal Would” Essay

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Introduction

The poem “Love Opened a Mortal Would” by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is an interesting example of how poetry depicts the dark side of love. Throughout the text, the poet uses vivid negative imagery to convey her feelings about love and the suffering it can bring. The structure and vocabulary of the poem, as well as its effective use of stylistic devices, help the author to convey the deep meaning behind the work. The present short paper will seek to analyze various stylistic and structural elements of the poem, as well as its contribution to other readings from the course.

Structure

The poem is divided into four stanzas, with four lines in the first two stanzas and three lines in the last two stanzas. The sentences are rather short, and some of them are enjambed, which serves to imitate the flow of natural speech. The structure of each sentence, however, is different, as they are filled with the listing, rhetorical questions, and other stylistic and literary devices. The poem has an irregular metrical pattern with no distinctive rhyme. Similarly to sentence structure, this feature contributes to the natural flow of speech in the poem. Also, it allows the reader to concentrate on the content, and the language used to convey the meaning of the poem, thus highlighting other stylistic devices.

Voice and Speaker

The poem is written from the first-person point of view. This feature allows the poet to communicate with the reader directly, thus removing the distance between the speaker and the audience. In this way, the emotions shared by the speaker are more apparent and meaningful to the reader; it feels as if the poet is telling her personal story. Thus, the fact that the poem is written in the first-person perspective serves to increase the readers’ emotional engagement.

The voice of the poem is rather desperate throughout the first three stanzas. The speaker shares emotions and feelings caused by love and the suffering brought by it. However, in the last stanza, the voice changes slightly, creating a space for reflection. By the end of the work, the audience feels as if they had witnessed a moment of weakness that ended just as abruptly as it had started.

Literary Devices

The author uses a variety of literary devices, including listing, rhetorical questions, consonance, and repetition. For instance, the second stanza begins with a listing of three adjectives describing the speaker’s emotional position. The listing helps to stress each of the adjectives, and thus serves to convey the emotional meaning of the poem to readers. Inline 8, “One life, I thought–a thousand deaths,” there is a distinctive consonance of the sound “th,” which highlights the contrast between life and death. Similarly, the repetition of the word “death” in lines 4 and 8 contributes to the negative imagery built by the poet and stresses the strength of the speaker’s emotional response to love.

Rhetorical questions in lines 11, 13, and 14 are among the key literary devices used in the poem, as they convey the speaker’s internal discussion. This contributes to the impression that the poem reflects the speaker’s thoughts during a moment of weakness rather than the author’s general opinion about love.

Vocabulary and Atmosphere

Throughout the poem, the poet’s word choice is rather dark and emotional. The speaker uses various negative and even violent imagery, such as “death,” “wound,” or “blade.” Dark imagery serves to create a similar atmosphere; in stark contrast with many love poems that have a romantic and bright atmosphere, “Love Opened a Mortal Would” is gloomy and painful. The change in the speaker’s feelings at the end of the third stanza is mirrored in the atmosphere. The poet no longer uses negative vocabulary in the last stanza, instead opting for moderate word choices, thus conveying the atmosphere of calmness and tranquility.

Contribution to Other Readings

One course reading that the poem is particularly relevant to be the book “This is how you lose her” by Junot Diaz. Both authors explore the topic of love and the emotional suffering that it can bring. In Diaz’s work, Yunior’s has several relationships with women, some of which are rather twisted and painful for at least one of the characters. For instance, in “Flaca,” Yunior’s relationship with Veronica is rather painful for the girl, as she knows that Yunior does not love her back. In the final part of Yunior’s story, his fiancée discovers his affairs and leaves.

The poem contributes to the understanding of the book and Yunior’s stories by suggesting what the women felt when Yunior hurt them. As the stories are written from Ynior’s perspective, it is interesting to include the other part of the story, and the poem helps to do that.

Conclusion

Overall, the poem discusses the dark side of love, sharing the poet’s reflection on the challenges and the pain it can bring. The language and style used by the poet help to translate its meaning to the audience. The poem also contributes to the exploration of Diaz’s book by revealing the emotional experiences of some of the women that the main character dated through the years.

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IvyPanda. (2020, October 23). The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-love-opened-a-mortal-would/

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"The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would"." IvyPanda, 23 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-love-opened-a-mortal-would/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would"." October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-love-opened-a-mortal-would/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would"." October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-love-opened-a-mortal-would/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would"." October 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-poem-love-opened-a-mortal-would/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Poem "Love Opened a Mortal Would"'. 23 October.

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