Love poems are widely written by poets worldwide, however the poem, “Celebrating Love” invokes the celebration of love in a distinct manner as opposed to other conventional love poems. The poem is thus observable to examine the modernization and the commercialization of love in the present world and the perspective of love as depicted in the viewpoint of today’s lovers.
Love’s for sale
In glitzy packages
Shining silver, gold red
In perfume advertisements
And dinner for two vouchers
And phone-in competitions
For dancing the night away
Love is to be bought,
Given away to the
It lurks in shopping malls,
only for those who can
It reeks of cash and kitsch
Quick, find it
Before it vanishes
Before it turns into a pumpkin
On Valentine’s Day.
“Love’s for sale today“, is a strong indication of the poet’s perception on the extinction of love’s timeless cherished definition of a unique element that particularly cannot be bought or taken by force but must be earned, to which matter, the poem draws a sharp contrast. The poet reverses this conventional character attributed to love into a more modernized and quick-accessed item, freely available in the stores. The poet through seems to celebrate love through presents, upon closer examination is in fact, cynical and ironic about the manner in which the present world has chosen to love, “In glitzy packages/ Shining Silver, gold, red”.
The next stanza begins with resolving this confusion aroused by the poet in defining, whereby the poet divulges the redefinition of what love exactly is. “Cellophane-wrapped/ Beneath transparent pink hearts/Lipstick coated”, such imagery render the notion of the poet being sarcastic about this new definition attributed in love. In fact, the poet is invoking the empty love devoid of feeling and emotion. Love thus appears to be merely exaggerating in terms of worldly indulgence, “For dancing the night away”. It has simply become an obsession and a fascination, “In perfume advertisements/ And trinkets”. The poem is both cynical and realistic in the way he implies the absence of true meaning given to love, instead it has become common place, a casual insignificant practice, “phone-in competitions…Cynical DJs”. The fact that Love is being commercialized used as an object for purposes of promotion is strongly condemned by the poet through his cynical overtones.
While the first stanza openly reminded the readers that love today is on sale and in the second the poet introduces to us what love truly meant in the modern society while in the third stanza the poet extends to emphasize to what extent it has been commercialized and “abused” as a result of modernization.
The third stanza thereby informs the readers where and who can actually buy this Love sold today. The poet stresses that it can only be bought by the “Highest bidder”, indeed love is ostensibly expensive for it is rare and it can only be earned by those who cherish it. However, it is obvious that the value the poet talks of in the poem is a different one, one where it is materialistically expensive, love that was cherished is now “lurking at shopping malls” “for only those who can afford it”. Hence the rich who can afford the afore mentioned glitzy packages adorned with lipstick and pick hearts are the only owners of Love.
Love as we know it, is associated with happiness, satisfaction and content, whereas this love that has undergone commercialization “reeks of cash and kitsch.” Love therefore has been devalued, it has become a material rather than a feeling of expression. In this industrial world, with people in a rat race after money and worldly gratification, love is also suffering its consequences of being commonplace and deterioration. The poet criticizes this growing perspective of love as seem commonly in the public fantasized by materialism.
The poet in the latter part of his poem, ender a fairy tale undertone, implying that this Love may soon “vanish”. It therefore has a high demand and the poet asks its reader to “Quick, find it”. On the contrary the poet draws a contrast to the fact that love is not encounters as one would wish it to be but comes in the most unexpected of time, whereas in the poem the poet demands that we find it for the simple reason that it will soon disappear as would a “pumpkin on Midnight”, drawing an image from a Cinderella’s fairy tale, “On Valentine’s Day”. The readers are made aware that this “today” spoken of in the first lines is in fact the valentine’s day. Love has become meaningless and emotionless to such an extent that the poet conveys the celebration of Love only on a valentine’s day.
Hence the poet, throughout the poet is observed to be criticizing the modern day perspective of Love and the extent at which it has become commercialized and trapped in the “transparent” wrappings devoid of genuinity, faithfulness and love in its truest forms, instead it is adorned and fantasized with materialism and pretense. Supporting to this sarcasm and condemnation is the extremely short lines of the poem, which are indications of the temporal nature of today’s love, lasting only until one meets a comparatively better another. It’s lifetime faithfulness, impermanence and eternality is forever lost under deep layers of modernization and materialism, giving reasons for humanity’s growing selfishness, pretense and hatred wherein true love would never find its rightful place.
Thus, this poem is an invocative that awakens us to reconsider our hectic lives and reevaluate our love that we believe is so strong and immortal.