In his poem, One Cigarette, Edwin Morgan explores the nature of love using an extended metaphor. In this essay I will look at how effective Edwin Morgan’s use of language and imagery are. I will capture the relationship in the poem and also the thoughts and feelings of the voice in the poem. Edwin Morgan has written this poem as a free verse. Meaning there is no rhythm to the poem and it does not rhyme. It seems as Is Morgan has just randomly placed words and thoughts next to one another to create this poem. He has given it no sense of direction just like love has no sense of direction.
You never know who you will fall in love with or what may happen when you are in love. Firstly I will look at the extended metaphor of the title, One Cigarette. Secondly I will look at his use of language and imagery. In Edwin Morgan’s use of ‘One Cigarette,’ for the title, he sets the relationship. The title gives me the sense that the relationship is one sided. Morgan puts two singular words together and uses them for the title which implies that the voice is alone, which then leads me to believe that there are problems in this relationship between the voice and the second person.
These problems may be due to unrequited love or death, we do not know. I assume that it is due to unrequited love. In my eyes the cigarette represents the relationship and how it all started good, with lots of pleasure and satisfaction, but now has just turned in to a dirty, bad habit. This then leads me to believe that the second person is a prostitute who sees the relationship with the voice as nothing but her job. There are definitely problems with the basis of this relationship, something seems not quite right about it. Morgan uses complex language that helps us capture how this relationship between the voice and the second person works.
No smoke without you me fire” In Morgan’s use of this he quantifies the relationship between the voice and second person(fire). This pun on a clichi?? tells me that this relationship is one sided. The second person obviously does not feel the same. This clarifies that the voice feels he cannot live without his love and that he is distraught without her. The second person can see no love relationship between themselves and the voice. ” Your cigarette glowed on in my ash-tray. ” Morgan uses this to imply that the second person has left quickly because they haven’t had time to finish their cigarette.
This cigarette represents the pleasure the voice just had but also shows that it is just a dirty habit. This is paradoxical because the cigarette is representing two complete contradictory things. In Morgan’s use of ” glowed” it makes me think that the voice is madly in love with the second person. This is because when something is glowing it is throbbing which then leads me to think of hearts. Hearts symbolize love. ” Of so much love. One Cigarette, In the non-smokers tray. ” Morgan does not seem to have and structure to his poem, One Cigarette. He continues this here as he uses enjambment.
Here Morgan is implying that a cigarette is the same as love. In Morgan’s use of this I consider him to be implying that the love is burning away, very quickly, just the way cigarettes burn. The non-smokers tray seems to represent an ash-tray. This ash-tray holds the love(Cigarette) or what is left of the love. Ash-trays hold waste, this signifies the love is a waste, unrequited love, because the second person does don’t feel the. I get the impression that there is almost nothing left of this love. ” I am drunk on your tobacco lips. ” In his use of drunk Morgan is not trying to imply that the voice is literally drunk.
He uses drunk as a metaphor to show the voice’s feelings. This drunk could mean a number of things. This could represent the happy experience of love and how you feel like you are on top of the world but could also represents the complete lack of control you find yourself in when you are in love. This also shows that the voice is drowning his sorrows because his love doesn’t feel the same for him as he feels for her. Morgan is implying that love is paradoxical because it can be such a great feeling but also the worst thing that could ever happen to you, when it all goes wrong.
The voice has now realised that he has nothing left of this relationship apart from the ash of his loves burning cigarette and the taste of her tobacco lips. ” Out with the light” Here love is being represented by something different again. I get the impression that the voice has been mucked about by his love, maybe his love has made the voice think they love him and then told him they don’t. This shows that all symbols of love have been extinguished. ” I smiled to wonder who would believe its signals” These signals being spoken about are smoke signals.
Smoke signals can easily be misunderstood, so this represents that the voice has misunderstood how his love really feels. In fact his love has never loved him, his world has fallen apart. ” I’ll breath, and long past midnight, your last kiss. ” This shows that the relationship that the voice thought existed with his love is finally over. The voice has now eventually realised that the person never loved him and now knows that nothing will ever happen between them. All he now has left of this love relationship, that never was, is the feel of that last this he had with her.
After thoroughly analysising Edwin Morgan’s poem, One Cigarette, I have finally come to the conclusion about what Edwin Morgan has been trying to show that love is complicated but still is uncontrollable. In this case of the voice, he has falling in love with someone he shouldn’t have but cannot get himself out of it. The love began controlling him and everything he saw reminded him of his love but all along she never loved him. Edwin Morgan was very successful, in his use of language and imagery, to get across the relationship between the voice and this love.