Love Song Poem Analysis
The poem I chose to imitate and use to create my pastiche was Joseph Brodsky’s “Love Song”. The poem is Brodsky’s unusual ode to the woman he loves, telling her all the things that he would do for her if he could. These are things that he would do to show her how much he loves her, how far he would to take care of her, and how attracted he is to her. I chose this poem because I felt that it was an interesting combination of humor and subtle sexual innuendo intertwined with classical love poem emotion.
I also chose this poem because the structure of it and the meter of the words were interesting and I wanted to challenge myself to recreate this structure with lines and thoughts of my own. Within Brodsky’s poem there are some particular elements that I intentionally tried to recreate, while there are others that I changed for my own. I tried to stay within the same meter with my poem as Brodsky did in his. I did this primarily because I enjoyed the way that the meter made his poem so easily readable and made the poem flow better.
Brodsky did this by using words and lines with the same number of syllables, and I tried to recreate this element for the same effect. I also chose to utilize the element of rhyming every other line so that every two lines complete one sentence and one sentiment for the poem’s reader. Again, I felt that this technique made the poem flow well and made it more interesting. I began my creative process to create my pastiche of Brodsky’s poem by reading it several times.
I did this to get an accurate understanding of the places in the poem where he inserted humor or innuendo in the lines. I felt that it was important to evenly space out these occurrences as Brodsky did so my poem didn’t come off too humorous and seem like a joke or a less than heartfelt expression. I also noted the individual components that Brodsky said he would be willing to be in his poem and tried to follow these. In some lines he refers to being a particular occupation, but in others he refers to himself as hypothetically being an inanimate object.
I tried to follow this same structure because I felt it lent to the imagination of the poem and the genuine expression of love. The biggest challenge for me when creating my pastiche was to rhyme every other line. I find it difficult to write poetry that rhymes but I wanted to keep this element from Brodsky’s poem. I dealt with this challenge by trying to keep the first word, which is the word for which I would need to find an accompanying rhyme, simple and easy to rhyme.
This meant rewriting some of the lines to make them end with an easy but fitting word, but it also helped me to make the poem flow better. I think I was able to rhyme the alternating lines while still incorporating meaningful metaphors in my poem. The other challenge I encountered was trying to implement Brodsky’s use of sexual innuendo without making the poem sexual. I tried to accomplish this by using metaphors that hinted at sexual or physical attraction without being too overt, but I honestly found it difficult to imitate Brodsky’s sly subtlety.
Overall, I think that the resulting pastiche that I created is a good imitation of Brodsky’s poem without mirroring it exactly. While I followed his formula for constructing the poem, I used my own metaphors which give it my own perspective. I think I did a good job of retaining the structure and flow of Brodsky’s poem, which was difficult since I was using my own words and having to rhyme every other line like he did. In creating this pastiche I was reminded of how much work goes into writing what seems like a simple poem.
It’s easy to look at Brodsky’s poem, which is only sixteen lines of simple language, and decide that it must be easy to write something like it. But in reality, the structure, language and rhyme scheme made it more difficult than originally imagined. It took a lot of creative effort to create something individual while imitating the elements of the original poem that I liked or wanted to incorporate, but I think the resulting pastiche is a quality imitation of Brodsky’s display of poetic talent.