“John Anderson, My Jo”

In all poems there is the theme about love, but each poem shows different types of love. Some poems describe the love in a happy way other poems describe the love in a sad way like Shakespeare.  The poem John Anderson, My Jo written by Robert Burns expresses the long standing aging kind of love. The speaker seems to be an aged faithful married woman, speaking about her equally ancient and faithful husband. The subject in the poem describes a love over many years. It is a long way up and down of a hill. The speaker expresses his eternal love and states that now it is the time to go the last way of their life doing this hand in hand and together. The end of this way is probably their death.  In the poem the speaker states the appearance change of John. First he is described as a raven with his bent bonnie brow and then described with a beld brow and looking like the snow. Line 1-4  describes the youth of John and line 5-8 describes the old age and death. Although John became old the love is still the same as at the beginning. The love was the whole life so strong so that now it is the time to go together the hill down.

On the contrary the poem A Red, Red Rose, is written by a speaker who is a youthful, amorous male. The poem is a promise of love, in which he leaves her but promises to come back. The love will passed far into the future. The love is described with expressions of nature.

The poems Bonie Doon by Robert Burns is written by a speaker, an unhappy lover, who describes the pain of love with the beauty of countrysite, which seems to be unaffected by his grief.

All three poems have different number of stanzas. Every stanza of  Bonie Doon and A Red, Red Rose have four lines  and on the other hand John Anderson My Jo has only 2 stanzas with 8 lines.  The poem John Anderson My Jo has a mixed rhyme scheme.  Other poems either have a standard rhyme scheme  like  A Red, Red Rose with ABCB or no rhyme scheme.

Each poem has key words as repetition, like my jo in the poem John Anderson, My Jo .  The mood of all three poems is the eternity and the tone is everlasting love.


One thought on ““John Anderson, My Jo””

  1. Simon, your analysis was very enjoyable. One thing to improve convention-wise is to separate the “by [author’s name]” with commas. For instance, the third line of your first paragraph should read:

    The Poem “John Anderson, My Jo,” written by Robert Burns, expresses…

    That’s another thing– author’s names aren’t italicized, and the titles of short works, like poems, are in quotation marks instead of italicized. Only titles of longer works, such as novels, are italicized.


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