Analysis of Burn's Poem A Red, Red Rose


Length: 572 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓


Analysis of Burn's Poem A Red, Red Rose

 

'A Red, Red Rose', was first published in 1794 in A Selection of Scots Songs, edited by Peter Urbani. Written in ballad stanzas, the verse - read today as a poem – pieces together conventional ideas and images of love in a way that transcends the "low" or non-literary sources from which the poem is drawn. In it, the speaker compares his love first with a blooming rose in spring and then with a melody "sweetly play'd in tune." If these similes seem the typical fodder for love-song lyricists, the second and third stanzas introduce the subtler and more complex implications of time. In trying to quantify his feelings - and in searching for the perfect metaphor to describe the "eternal" nature of his love - the speaker inevitably comes up against love's greatest limitation, "the sands o' life." This image of the hour-glass forces the reader to reassess of the poem's first and loveliest image: A "red, red rose" is itself an object of an hour, "newly sprung" only "in June" and afterward subject to the decay of time. This treatment of time and beauty predicts the work of the later Romantic poets, who took Burns's work as an important influence.

 

'A Red, Red Rose' is written in four four-line stanzas, or quatrains, consisting of alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines. This means that the first and third lines of each stanza have four stressed syllables, or beats, while the second and fourth lines have three stressed syllables. Quatrains written in this manner are called ballad stanzas.

 

The ballad is a old form of verse adapted for singing or recitation, originating in the days when most poetry existed in spoken rather than written form. The typical subject matter of most ballads reflects folk themes important to common people: love, courage, the mysterious, and the supernatural. Though the ballad is generally rich in musical qualities such as rhythm and repetition, it often portrays both ideas and feelings in overwrought but simplistic terms. The dominant meter of the ballad stanza is iambic, which means the poem's lines are constructed in two-syllable segments, called iambs, in which the first syllable is unstressed and the second is stressed. As an example of iambic meter, consider the following line from the poem with the stresses indicated:

     That's sweet / ly play'd / in tune.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Analysis of Burn's Poem A Red, Red Rose." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=8754>.
Title Length Color Rating  
The Expression of Emotion in Robert Burn's A Red, Red Rose Essay - “O my luv’s like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June” (Lines 1-2). These are the first lines of Robert Burn’s emotional and eloquent poem where he expresses his love for a woman. These first lines of this poem convey a sense of the emotions such as: Euphoria, excitement, and passion. These are a few of the emotions that a man in love expressed in his work, which also reflects in the overall theme of the poem. Another factor that plays an interesting role is how the poem gives of a sense of expectancy; it is as if the author was excited for what the future held....   [tags: deathbed, metaphors, love] 870 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of Oh, my love is like a red, red rose, by Robert Burns Essays - 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. With sweet music in his heart, the poet-speaker writes about a young woman who he loved beyond measures....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1288 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A New Love in the Poem, Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns Essay - ... In line two he compares his feelings to a rose “That’s newly sprung in June:” which allows the reader to envision a budding rose opening up to the beautiful world before it. “O my Luve’s like the melodie/ that’s sweetly play’d in tune” (lines 3-4) is the Scottish influence of a happy Gaelic tune. The imagery presented to readers is that of a bright sunny day, filled with promises of a new emotion of a first love. In the stanzas that follow, the reader gets a sense of the deepening love by the use of the hyperbole “Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,/ And the rocks melt wi’ the sun,” (9-10)....   [tags: emotion, happiness, affection]
:: 1 Works Cited
559 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about The Representation of Art in William Carlos Williams' Poem The Rose - The Representation of Art in William Carlos Williams' Poem The Rose "The rose is obsolete." (line 1) The rose is no longer of use, out-dated, and out-moded. Modernists felt the same way about the traditional and accepted art of the early nineteen hundreds. Roses are given to people so often. Who among us does not attach some type of personal significance to the image of a rose. I would venture to say that no one has not given, been given, or wished to give or receive a rose. Roses are delivered from florists by the dozen during all holiday seasons, for anniversaries, for apologies, for courting....   [tags: Williams Rose Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1629 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
James Kelman's The Burn Essay - James Kelman's story, The Burn has been interpreted as a universal representation of the condition of the working class in an oppressive society. Also, critics have brought to light the stylistic accomplishment of Kelman's writing; his ability to use language to bring to bear a psychological and emotional state of being within a fraction of an individual’s life; but, there is another perspective that may have been an unintentional result of his genius as a writer. His unnamed character gives us an additional lens to view his journey....   [tags: The Burn Essays] 1263 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Death of a Red Rose Essay - We assemble in a cesspool of death waiting on our ultimate judgment. Everyone has their own belief or idea about the hypothesis for the hereafter, yet no one knows the legitimacy of these theories. This is why the majority of people are petrified about dying because the horror of the unknown is frightening to everyone. Yet, with this in mind numerous authors precede to inscribe works of literature about the death of man throughout history. Although these two writings share a common theme their representation and other symbolic references show their differences throughout their writings....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 5 Works Cited
1249 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on A Rose for Emily - What is atmosphere. It is the use of dust and moonlight, of curtains and trailing gowns. Atmosphere is the character that is not human, the description of place and feel, all the points of the tale that are not directly products of the people in the story or poem. In "A Rose for Emily' by William Faulkner, atmosphere seems more potent than the hastily sketched characters in the story. This is also evident in the famous poems "She Walks in Beauty' by Byron and "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer Day?' by Shakespeare....   [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner] 1615 words
(4.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
William Blake's The Sick Rose Essay - William Blake's The Sick Rose "The sick rose" is a very ambiguous poem and open to several interpretations, Blake uses lots of imagery and effective metaphors. My first impression of the poem was that it?s very negative and includes elements of destruction revenge and perhaps even murder. I think the poems about two lovers, one of which cheated on their partner and the other wants revenge. The poem is very contradictory, this is shown in the first line 'O Rose, thou art sick.' A rose usually symbolises beauty, romance and love, it?s a very feminine image but then it is said to be sick so we instantly sense something is wrong....   [tags: Blake Poetry Poem Sick Rose Essays] 619 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
My Love is Like a Red Rose Essay - Life is like A Red Rose This is the loveliest lyrical song of all time for Robert's wife - Jean Armour. It is widely known for not only its emotional significance bur its perfect form as well. Robert Burns opens this poem with a traditional comparison:"Oh my love is like a red red rose" Up to now, "rose" is considered the symbol of love. In this case, rose "is newly sprung in June", we can understand that his love is always at the starting point. Robert uses his rose with the meaning that it is very strong and passionate....   [tags: Robert Burns Poetry Literature Essays] 554 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time - To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time displays many of Yeats' techniques used in his early work. In particular is its use of myth and folklore. In many of his poems, particularly his later work, he draws heavily upon Greek mythology. Here he incorporates traditional Irish folklore. To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time perhaps explains to some extent his preoccupation with the spiritual and mystical world. The poem is about the narrator (presumably Yeats himself, as most of his work of this type is written from his point of view, rather than a žctional character's) and his disdain for contemporary life, resulting in his wistful longing to be part of the Irish le...   [tags: To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time] 947 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

Related Searches






This pattern exists most regularly in the trimeter lines of the poem, lines which most often finish the thoughts begun in the a regularity which gives the poem a balanced feel that enhances its musical sound.

 

In "A Red Red Rose" Burns is telling us what the epitome of love is to him. The similes he uses are meant to show us the grandness of love.   He compares his love to a rose and to a melody, showing us that love is beautiful and precious. Burns also shows us how love is not fleeting; that if it really is love it will always be there no atter how near or far the two people may be from each other.

 

In rhetoric, a Simile is a figure of speech in which an object is explicitly compared to another object. Robert Burns's poem "A Red Red Rose" contains two straightforward similes:

My love is like a red, red rose

  That's newly sprung in June:

My love is like the melody

  That's sweetly played in tune.



Return to 123HelpMe.com