Love In Literature There are many different interpretations and feelings about love being a beautiful thing and love being an ordinary thing depending on ones past. Two contrasting thoughts about love are expressed by Robert Burns in his poem “A Red, Red Rose”, and by Edna St. Vincent Millay in her poem “Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink.” Burns feels that his love is beautiful and he would do anything for it. Millay portrays her feelings of love as if it were just something that most people feel and it is no big deal. “A Red, Red Rose” discusses how Burns love is so good.
He starts off by saying “O, my luve is like a red, red rose,” which means his love is beautiful, sweet, and elegant, but it still has thorns. Burns also speaks of love as a never-ending feeling when he says “And I will luve thee still, my dear, /Till a the seas gang dry.” Of course he knows the sea will never go dry, and he uses that as a metaphor for everlasting. Burns expresses the fact that he will do anything for his love in such words as “And I will come again, my luve, Though it were ten thousand mile!” He is willing to travel far in order to see his love. To Burns nothing is as important to him as his love. “Love Is Not All: It Is Not Meat nor Drink” is a poem in which the author feels love is ordinary. Millay shows how she feels love is overrated. “Love is not all: it is meat nor drink” states that love can not feed you if you are hungry. Most of what she says is love can not save you from death, love can not heal broken bones, nor can love be traded for other things a person is in need of.
She says, “Yet many man is making friends with death/Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.” meaning people kill themselves because they are missing love in their lives. To Millay love is just something a person does. Burns thought about love is compared to a red rose, which is viewed as beautiful in our culture. He expresses that love is a wonderful thing. Millay contrasts Burns opinion by stating that she feels love can not do what people think it can do.
It is not the food we eat nor the air we breathe. Two different ways of thinking and seeing things are portrayed in these poems. Depending on a persons past experiences in life they have different views on episodes in life. Love can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.