John Anderson, My Jo

The poem My Jo by John Anderson is different compared to the other poems we have read previously, both in terms of form and content. In terms of content, the speaker of the poem is the beloved who is reassuring her husband that he is still her sweetheart although his hair is turning grey and that they will go “hand in hand” together through life.  This particular poem is quite different from the other poems in terms of content, unlike the other poems that have a male speaker, the speaker for this poem is a woman. In addition, instead of having a male being heartbroken over a woman who has left him, it is about a woman caring about her ageing husband. In terms of form, there is also a difference from the previous poems. Instead of having four lines for each stanza, it has eight. It also has less stanzas compared to the other poems. This poem raises questions about the nature of romantic love, since love from the previous poems were perceived to only care about youth, and to love each other before it is too late. However, in this poem, this is not the case. Although the husband is ageing and having his hair turn grey, the love between the woman and the man still remains.

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One thought on “John Anderson, My Jo”

  1. Jasper, this is an interesting post. I enjoyed reading it. One thing I will mentioned about conventions is that the titles of short works, such as poems, are always in quotation marks, and the “by [author’s name]” is always surrounded by two commas. So, your introduction should read: The poem “John Anderson, My Jo,” by Robert Burns, is…” Also, you wrote “by John Anderson,” probably because you could not see the authors name immediately next to the poem. If you look back two poems, you’ll see that all of the poems on page 8 are written by Robert Burns. If ever a poem doesn’t have an author, it means that the poem has the same author as the previous one, unless specified otherwise.

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