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What are some common symbolic devices in love poetry?

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Quick Answer

Common symbols used in poems about love are the rose, the moon and rings. Doves, apples and swans are also well-known symbols of love that are often used in poetry.

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Full Answer

The rose is an ancient symbol of love that has been used by many cultures. Roses represent beauty and were sacred flowers to many goddesses, such as Aphrodite and Isis. The goddess Venus and the Virgin Mary are often represented by roses. The word "rose" translates to pink or red in several languages, and these colors are also associated with love and passion.

The moon is often used as a metaphor for love and beauty, especially unrequited love and pale, cold beauty. The moon represents something that is unreachable and undying. Rings, especially gold rings, and doves are both symbols of fidelity within a relationship. Doves mate for life, so they are associated with commitment as well as peace.

Apples have also long been seen as a symbol of love, lust and desire. The red color and juicy interior often relate to passion in literature. The swan is symbolic of innocence, beauty, love and sincerity. The Virgin Mary is also commonly represented by a swan because of her grace and purity.

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