A Red, Red Rose
Exercise: Question & Answers
Understanding the text
Answer the following questions.
a. To which two things does the speaker compare his love in the first stanza?
→ There are altogether four different stanzas here in this poem where we find the speaker comparing, admiring, wishing and promising. In the very first stanza, the speaker compares his beloved with the fresh, delicate and beautiful red rose of July. Next, he compares her with a sweet melody that is sweetly played in a fine-tune. Here, these comparisons have shown the beauty of the speaker’s beloved.
b. What does the speaker promise in the second and third stanza?
→ The speaker promises various things to his beloved in the second and third stanza. He promises to love his beloved until the earthly seas have become dry, rocks have melted by the heat of the sun and human life has ended.
c. What imagery does he use in his promise, and why do you think he uses such language?
→ He uses the imagery of dry seas, melted rocks, ended human life in the second and third stanza. He uses an image of a long journey in the fourth stanza. I think he uses such language because his love is so deep and true for his beloved.
d. In the last stanza, what event is about to happen by mentioning the number of miles?
→ Here, by mentioning the number of miles, the event of reconciliation is about to happen. After a short temporary separation with his beloved or giving wishes and farewell, the speaker promises to return to her life though the journey is so long and takes a long time.
e. Which image in the poem do you find the most memorable or surprising and why?
→ Here in this poem, I find the image of dry seas in the entire earth the most surprising because this promise of the speaker is managed in a very interesting fashion. After reading his lovable promises, I keep on pondering the state of the earth without water.
Reference to the context
a. What can you infer about the speaker’s devotion to his beloved from the following lines?
And I will come again, my love, Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!
→ This beautiful promising line has been taken from Robert Burns love poem ‘A Red, Red Rose. We find this line at the end of the fourth stanza. Here, the speaker is in deep love with his beloved. He is making a promise with his beloved to return to her life after their temporary separation. He promises to be with her no matter how long the journey is.
b. What is the theme of the poem?
→ The main theme of this poem is the immortality of a love relationship and its feelings.
This poem has shown the concept that a love relationship never dies. It keeps on moving forever.
Reference beyond the text
a. What kind of love is expressed in “A Red, Red Rose”?
→ In this poem, A Red, Red Rose, the poet has expressed his romantic love for his beloved where his feelings are so deep. He has compared his beloved with a new and beautiful rose of July and also with a sweet melody. He has even made many promises to love his beloved forever.
b. Do you think that love has power? Why do the poets compose poems addressing their beloved?
→ Yes, I think love has power. Love can sometimes lead people towards perfection whereas it may bring destructive results too. I think poets are so passionate about their creations. Most of the poets in the world prefer writing about love relationships. We find most of the poets composing their poems addressing their beloved because they want to write their own experiences of love and share with others. Their own experience of love supports them to create the best they can.
c. Poetry is the expression of feelings and emotions. Explain.
→ Poetry is the expression of feelings and emotions which allows people to express themselves through the written means. Poetry is a great way to release emotions, exercise creativity and share thoughts and ideas with other people. Writing poetry is an art, a way of expression and finding meaning in few words. A melody of passion flowing out onto the pages, words that flow into each other and yet express the innermost emotions and feelings of those who read the words. The poets can easily express their inner feelings and emotions through few lines of poetry. The creations of the poets have a deep meaning related to human feelings and emotions. The poetic lines create amazing meanings of humans’ feelings and emotions.
The poem “A Red, Red Rose” is about the lovable feelings of the speaker towards his beautiful beloved. The speaker’s love for his beloved is so deep. He compares his beloved with the new red rose of June and a sweet melody of a tune. His beloved is so beautiful like a red rose and the sweet melody of the tune. He wants to love his beloved forever that’s why he is making various promises. He wants to be with her and love her until earthly seas gang go dry, rocks melt and human life ends. He wants to be with her after a short separation no matter the journey is ten thousand miles long or it takes a long time. The speaker dedicates his life to his beloved who is quite beautiful.