‘Both these poems are love poems with a twist. ‘ Do you agree? ‘i wanna be yours’ by Cooper Clarke and ‘Stop all the Clocks’ by Auden are both unusual romantic poems. To judge whether they’re both love poems, and if so, if they have a twist, we’d have to analyse classical love poetry. Cooper Clarke wrote ‘i wanna be yours’ in the 1980s for a ‘punk’ audience (being a selfproclaimed punk poet). The poem is intentionally mocking of the blossoming consumerist culture that valued possession over emotion.
Similarly, the original version of Auden’s ‘Stop all the Clocks’ was satirical, mocking the funeral of a politician, written for a play that Auden co-wrote with Christopher Isherwood. The better known 1938 version was edited and changed from the original to song lyrics for Hedli Anderson. Love poetry is best known in sonnet form. A sonnet is a poem with 14 lines, of which the last two are a rhyming couplet, most commonly written in iambic pentameter. Famous love sonnets include’ Love Is Not All’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and ‘Sonnet 130’ by Shakespeare.
Both have an obvious beloved and express the emotion of love clearly. The Oxford English Dictionary defines love as ‘A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone’, and poetry as ‘Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm’. Therefore, love poetry should be a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.
In li wanna be yours’, Cooper Clarke uses various techniques to show his ‘deep… devotion’ to his beloved. One of these techniques is the constant statements of his need to be essential daily items in her life, for example, his need to be her ‘vacuum cleaner’. This is effective because it’s very simplistic, and expresses that his love isn’t complicated. The phrase ‘i wanna be yours’ is repeated at the end of the first two stanzas, almost as a conclusion to his points.
A structural technique of Cooper Clarke’s is his use of rhyming couplets: each couplet shows how pairs are an improvement on singularity. One possible interpretation of the use of everyday, consumerist products, such as a ‘Ford Cortina’ is the need to have what others have. Cooper Clarke is using humanity’s primal need to fit in as a tool to advertise himself: if Cooper Clarke is comparable to these highly desirable (and mostly unnecessary) products, then he must also be highly desirable.
This links in with context, as Cooper Clarke wrote this poem in the midst of his heroin addiction, and he most likely had as low a view of himself during that decade as he did of these products that he’s mocking. However, no matter how mocking, ‘i wanna be yours’ does fit the definition of a love poem. Auden’s ‘Stop all the Clocks’ is undoubtedly written about the loss of a loved one. The most powerful techniques in the poem were used in the third stanza. For example, the repetition of ‘my’, in reference to Auden’s lover being a key component in all parts of his life.
Auden states that his lover is his entire world, his voice, and all of his time by calling him ‘my North, my South, my East and West/ My working week and my Sunday rest/ my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song. ‘ This is a definite emphasis on a romantic attachment to Auden’s lover. That means that ‘Stop all the Clocks’ is a love poem, by definition. The label of ‘unusual’ stems from the fact that neither of them are genuine. Cooper Clarke wrote ‘i wanna be yours’ to mock a capitalist society.
It may fit the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of love poetry, but the only love that it’s addressing is a great love of mocking the general public. Auden’s poem followed the same key points writing the original version of ‘Stop all the Clocks’ for play, The Ascent of F6, which is classified as Menippean Satire- mocking entire mindsets, rather than specific people. An interesting point to note, however, is that this version of ‘Stop all the Clocks’ is what ‘i wanna be yours’ is mocking, as it was written for profit, based off of the original poem, to be sung by Hedli Anderson.
The poems are entirely effective because of literary talent, not undertones of emotion. This is why they can’t just be labelled as love poetry. ‘Stop all the Clocks’ and ‘i wanna be yours’ bleed emotion out of readers. I believe that this is the most important aspect of their twist. They are the result of the poets’ expertise, specifically to extort a reaction from their audience. These poems are often read at funerals and at weddings, a fact that I find comical based on the poets’ intentions. Altogether, I feel as if I have proven that both of these poems are love poems with a twist.