Monday, June 3, 2013

Love Poetry's Unfortunate Influence on the Adolescent

As an extension of an earlier post and its comments, I have decided to elaborate on love poetry's intentions, using Petrarch's sonnets as a main source.

It's a heavy topic for me and at this point, I'm not sure I agree 100% with my claim, but it's controversial and interesting enough to make it worth while.  Let's see if I can spark some argumentative discussions. 

Haven't we all been messed with, at least a little, by The Notebook?

1. Policy Claim - Despite love poetry's universal acceptance and adoration, the adolescent mind should take caution when reading the genre in search for greater knowledge of love for there are forms of trickery, whether intentional or unintentional by the author.  A more mature mind can more easily absorb love poetry without falling susceptible and developing unrealistic beliefs of its peril, or lack thereof. hidden behind the words that appeal to the young audience and if accepted, conjure unrealistic beliefs about love. 

2. Definition Claim - It can be deceiving by how often times love poetry is not about the love itself, but the exploration of the feelings of love, which is destructive to the unripened and easily influenced mind.  People are raised to believe in a love that is more oft than not represented by the unstable and fast changing emotions that it brings than the love itself.

3. Comparison Claim - Though both the "love high" and heartbreak are represented in love poetry, the adolescent mind tends to retain and ponder the wonderfully overwhelming emotions of being in love over the horribly miserable emotions of hearbreak.  Caution should be paid when diving into the powerful genre.

4. Evaluation Claim - While Petrarch's sonnets are almost entirely about his eternal love Laura, he is more concerned with his own feelings of love and not Laura herself.  Standardized western beliefs of love, both unrealistic and realistic, are deeply rooted in both Petrarch's society and ours today.  The classical thought of love being a curse surely influenced Petrarch, although Christian, but it takes the more ripened mind to identify the ideal while consulting love poetry.

5. Cause/Effect Claim - Although the airy and whimsical tones to love poetry make for beautiful and unparallelled works, there is always a danger present of getting caught up in the benevolent aspects of love, and ignoring the malicious.  

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the topic.


  1. I think #4 was the most specific and easily defensible from a literary standpoint. Many of the others seemed to be policy claims, which were very interesting-- but not as focused on the literary aspects of poetry.

    I could be wrong on how important that focus is, but there's my thought. I am really interested to hear what you have to say!

    1. I agree. This is the only claim which references a specific work of literature. Zero this in on one specific Petrarchan sonnet. The policy claims are both broad and indefensible: the youths of today aren't reading Petrarch, per se.

    2. Ditto and ditto. Most easily defensible, and has the most specific claim. And Charly's right. It'd be sweet if you focused on one Petrarchan sonnet--perhaps the one you posted about a few weeks ago (was it?).

  2. I would have to say that I liked #5 the best. I think it would make for a very interesting paper and to me it seems succinct enough!

  3. Oh. You can disregard my comment on your second post about your thesis. :/// I'm an idiot.

  4. I like #2. It's an interesting point. Sometimes I think love is represented more as the idea of love or the potential for love, and I think it would be great to explore the contradiction.