Overview

Infographic illustrating aspects of the poem A Red, Red Rose

In this poem the speaker declares the intense love he feels for another. He compares his love to a rose and insists that his love will be everlasting. After indicating an impending separation, the speaker concludes by insisting that his love will endure while the lovers are apart.

Burns draws heavily upon the language of sentiment and emotion, as well as the traditional conventions of ballads. He conveys the persona of a determined young lover whose feelings will not be diminished by time or distance. Cumulatively, the generic and poetic devices employed by Burns evoke a feeling of sadness for the infatuated speaker so overpowered by his feelings.

This poem deals with the following themes:

  • the relationship of man to the natural world
  • everlasting or enduring love
  • the power of human emotions