Review of Robert Burns’ Story, “A Red, Red Rose”
The nature of science and intuition would hold that everything visible to the eye must cease to be. No form of life, no cause, nor even movements of a generation may surpass the bounds of its finite existence. Yet this same consciousness insists there must exist a transcendental seal from one creation to another. This naked link, too, bracketsliterature gone byto that which belongs to the succeeding generation, otherwise accepted as love. In his “A Red, Red Rose,” Roberts Burns introduces an interminable romance which lasts through all tempering and ceasing. To develop this sentiment, the author presents a sundry of finite models and elucidates that regardless of the prototype, his intimate endearment will abide. Burns implicitly concedes the reader these ideals through his use of assorted repetition to spur thoughts of constancy, metaphorical imagery to evince the seasons of the relationship, and strategic placement and construction of words to embody the contractions to come and overcome.
Enunciated, perspicuous repetition erects the permanence of Burns’s love for the one he speaks of in his poem. To inaugurate this intention, Burns names his writing “A Red, Rose Rose.” The epizeuxis applied in the title employs the reader to note that repetition and constancy will be prevalent in the words to come. The first stanza, though still utilizing “a red, red rose” (1) from the title, approaches permanence using anaphora. The odd lines of this stanza begin with “O my luve’s like” and the evens with “That’s.” Burns exploits this repetitive mechanism in every line of the first stanza, the only stanza to do so in every line, to prepare the reader’s mind for the immutability that prevails in the poem. The next marked repetition appears in stanzas two and three as Burns moves past anaphora. For three consecutive odd lines, he ends with “my dear.” (7) Echoing this name of endearment to whom he is writing not only makes a spectacle of his affection, but the epistrophe he uses discloses that his affection is regular and perpetual.Concurrently, Burns closes stanza two and opens stanza three with “Till a’ the seas gang dry.” (8)The repetitions in these stanzas are coupled that they may be viewed as ceaseless. Though the stanza may end, his amiable words do not. Reiteration of this contrivance exists finally in the fourth stanza, opening the first two lines with “And fare thee weel.” (13) Burns closes his poem with this stanza opening to prove that his incessant love is undeterred by these words of farewell to his companion, accentuating the motif that while his words and life may be fleeting, love is not. Anaphora and epizeuxis are incorporated for a last time in lines thirteen and fifteen as both begin with “And” and close with “luve.” (13)The motley of repetition Burns indites in this work most candidly acquaints the reader with his proclamation of an immeasurable love.
Sensation-provoking illustrations in “A Red, Red, Rose” constitute the adherence of Burns’s ideas to the reader’s understanding, birthing a palpable emotional contact. He commences his writing with the likeness of his beloved to humble familiarities. Much the same as the pregnant earth springing flowers, being “newly sprung in June” (2) bears images of youth and joy that he is attributing to his lover. After the conception of this youthful romance, Burns offers her as a “melodie / [t]hat’s sweetly played in June,” (3-4) imploring the reader to dwell on their own reminiscence of summer memories and assign those emotions to the reader and his sweetheart. Cultural references conjure the established connotation, which Burns considers when calling her his “bonnie lass,” (5) referring to the Scottish folk song of a distant romance. This endeared mention has the reader wander towards sentiments of a fantastical, almost whimsical, romance and passes the relationship from a newly budded connection to a flattering, smitten alliance. Burns presses with scenes of life culminating as “the seas gang dry” (8) and “rocks melt wi’ the sun” (10) to consummate the circle of seasons relationships face. He proposes life itself is halting, yet he “will love thee still,” (11) enduring the inevitable ceasing of everything around the couple. This sampling of models through which Burns and his dear withstand impart reflections of destruction and ensures the reader surveys the surviving love amidst death. Burns’s lasteffigy of this pair is the parting of himself and his partner saying “fare thee weel, my only luve,” (13) drawing mental figures of devotion and goodbyes for the reader. This devotion continues as he’ll return to her “though it were ten thousand mile,” (16) propounding that the love has aged from the sprouting romance to an exchanged dependency of the companions to one another. Burns uses his imagery to goad the reader’s thoughts, inducing cognizance of the development of his relationship with his love as it grows and persists.
Vowel and word placement act as Burn’s instruments in “A Red, Red Rose” for spawning the light air of the poem while accentuating the variability of the surroundings of he and his lover. Burns forthwith introduces “O my luve’s like a red, red rose” (1) to set the precedent of assonance for the rest of his poem, largely emphasizing the role of vowels. Without regard to the rhyme scheme in place, every even line in a stanza rhyming, Burns forms rhyme elsewhere such as “melodie” (3) and “sweetly.” (4) This euphony flows the words and engages the reader to read swiftly and lightly. Burns says “fare thee weel” (13) in place of fare thee well for this exact purpose, pairing the double “e” in both words. Yet, the crux of his vowel usage may be seen in his spelling of “luve.” (1) Burns writes “luve” twice in each of his first two stanzas; yet, in the third stanza, Burns writes “love.” (11) The “o” may be in accordance with the other “o” he writes into the line, “O I will love,” to further his fluidity of vowels, but may also represent the growth of his love from its youthful stage to the matured commitment they take on- from luve to love. This change is not only shown in vowels, but also in the placement of his words in odd-numbered lines. He varies the meter in each stanza, comparable to his intentions in repetition. The first stanza is written in trochaic tetrameter with one anapest in each odd-numbered line, having “O my luve’slike a red, red rose” (1) contain the unstressed “like a” in the middle. Contrarily, the second stanza takes the form of iambic tetrameter without interruption. Burns sets the meter in odd lines in likeness to the second stanza, but casts the even lines with one opening anapest such as “And the rocks melt wi’ the sun.” (10) “And fare thee weel, my only luve” (13) gives the last stanza another iambic tetrameter in odd lines, yet Burns chooses to close with a suspension to this meter. A final anapest concludes his work in “Though it were ten thousand mile” (16) which does not exist in the partnering even line in that stanza. Burns’s purpose in varying the meter as he does is to shows that love will be never-ending though there indeed will be inconstancies surrounding the couple.
“A Red, Red Rose” acts as Burn’s note of assurance to his lover that their romance will abide. The reader implicitly draws this message through the assorted repetition, metaphorical imagery, and placement and construction of words. The precedence of permanence appears in the immediate use of repetition, preparing the tone for the rest of the poem. Image and reference usage touch the reader’s own memory to connect words to emotion, while wording is the covert instrument to clinch the ideas. These mechanisms awaken his own romantic sentiment to the reader most simply publish that the love of Robert Burns to his beloved will concede no cessation.
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