Crazy Little Thing Called Love Essay Sample
Helen Farries in her poem, ‘Magic of Love’ and Sharon Olds in her poem, ‘Last Night’ both talk about love albeit in completely different ways. As the title suggests Farries’ poem is about magical love, the kind of love that is universal and makes everything right while Olds’ poem is about physical, frenzied love or rather the lack of the kind of love that Farries talks about in her poem. Love in Farries’ poem is abstract while Olds’ poem talks about the feelings that is experienced during passionate love making as well as the love that comes out of cuddling after the love making. Farries and Olds talk about love, but in completely different terms; while Farries is all sugary sweet in describing love, Olds takes a rather bold and provocative approach to love.
The poem ‘Magic of Love’ is saccharine sweet; with the kind of lyrics or verses that can be found in greeting cards. The rhyme scheme is ABCB and is in the stanza form with our lines in each. Olds poem however does not follow a specific rhyme scheme nor is it in the stanza form. The whole poem is written in one stanza, sounding more like prose than poem. It is as if Olds does not want to break away from describing her sensations during sex and the cuddles after and writing non-stop helps her do that. Her exciting and the jumbles feelings she experiences are somehow brought through the lines which go on without breaking.
The poems cannot be more different in the kind of emotions that they elicit from their readers. Farries’ poem has a soothing, feel good nature to it. She talks about love that brings cheer to people who give it, she talks of love that lifts up spirits and love that chases away all troubles and makes people happy. “There's a wonderful gift that can give you a lift, It's a blessing from heaven above! (Farries 1, 2)”. Love for Farries is a gift that lifts people’s spirits and something akin to magic and fantasy or religious as she calls a blessing that comes from above. She elevates love to a Godly affair, something that is out of this world and yet brings happiness to people here and can take them to a blissful state. The poem has a positive feel throughout and talks o love in a candy floss way. Olds’ poem is the exact opposite of Farries’ ‘Magic Of love’ In ‘last night’, the love is something that is felt by two people. It is a description of a specific love that the poet experiences with her lover. The sex that she describes in the poem is not the gentle lovemaking but rather describes a very passionate, wild, physical affair. The sex is so carnal that the poet wonders if there’s any love involved in it. As much as she enjoys the physical part of it, she feels the love when she wakes up in the morning all cuddled up. She says that there was no tenderness in the sex, ‘no tenderness–more like killing, death-grip, holding to life, genitals, like violent hands clasped tight (Olds, 13-15), but she finds tenderness when her lover holds her till she falls asleep and she wakes up in the morning feeling "clasped, fragrant, buoyant” (Olds 29).
The two poems use a lot of similes to compare and describe the love they are talking about. Farries says love is “Like a star in the night, it can keep your faith bright, Like the sun, it can warm your hearts, too (Farries 5, 6)”. Love for Farries is a star and a sun that manages to keep up ones faith and also warm people’s heart. The comparison of love to the sun and the star help in elevating love to another level. Farries uses similes in the poem to describe a love that is celestial and out of the world. Love for her is something that cannot be compared to what is in this world. Olds’ love is something that is very much present in this world. It is a love that comes out after frenetic sex. Old’s love is also something that is amazing as it makes her feel great after having sex. The sex that she describes in the poem is almost violent. She says, the sex was
“more like being closed
in a great jaw and eaten, and the screaming
I groan to remember it, and when we started
the way a drunkard forgets (Olds 16-20).”
Her loves comes across as someone who subdues her in the beginning of the poem. The sex is quite intense and the poet is pinned down by her lover and the reader is in or a shock when she talks about love after a very animal sex. The fact that the poet’s lover lets her enjoy the pleasure and also holds her after the act tells the reader that he is in fact very much in love with her. The way she wakes up happy let the reader know that she is content with her love. Love on Olds’ poem is the all-encompassing love that leaves for wanting or more, the love that leaves you breathless and the love that knocks you down completely.
The poetess’ treatment of love determines their audience. Farries’ poem is the kind which would not hurt anyone’s sensibilities. It is a poem that is addressed to everyone, a poem that can be read out to kids as well as adults without having to worry about scandalizing the reader. Olds’ poem has no such safe for everyone tone about it. There is an embarrassing candor about physical love, about sex. The poem is not an act by act description of the sex she has but rather a description of the act and about how it makes her feel. It definitely is not a poem that can be read by everyone and is definitely not a poem that is bound by moral boundaries. It rather is a frank poem about a woman who does not mind sharing her sexual encounter and also the love that she feels when she is embraced by her lover.
Both the poems describe and address a feminine stereotype and cliché. Sugar sweet lyrics about love are usually targeted at love stuck teenage girls and women. Lyrics that describe love in such terms are feminine and it is not a surprise that the author is a woman. Olds’ too caters to the feminine cliché. Although she enjoys the sex, it is the embrace after the sex and the cuddles in the morning that she calls love. Sex is just a physical act that gives her pleasure but love is something that she feels when she is embraced. There is a prevailing thought that it is women who want cuddling after sex and Olds’ poem does nothing to get out of the stereotype or cliché. Although the poem starts in quite a revolutionary manner, she finally succumbs to the feminine stereotype of feeling love only when there is hugging and holding each other after the sex.
Both the poems are completely different in their treatment of love. If Farriers’ poem is like a description of eating a candy, Olds’ poem is like ripping off the wrapper and enjoying the candy. Although they are completely different in form and content, the audience of the poems seem to be predominantly women catering to their ideal form of love. Farries talks about abstract love, something that is universal and that can be experienced by everyone while Olds’ description of love is a description of a very personal experience. While Farries says that love is for everyone, Olds talks about a love that is private and very individualistic- the kind of love that can be shared and experienced only by lovers.