never go back -carol ann duffy

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  • never go back
    • what is the poem about
      • The poem is about someone visiting the town that they grew up in and reliving the memories that they had there which weren’t positive for the persona and caused them a lot of pain going back there.
    • persona
      • The persona appears to be a woman going back to her hometown.       She appears to hate visiting and is able to look at her hometown and see the negative side of it.
      • The persona speaks in 2nd person, which is shown through the use of the personal pronoun – “you”. The effect of this is that it seems like the persona is speaking to someone else, however it seems like Duffy has used the personal pronouns – “You talk for hours” to detach the persona from themselves and who they were when they lived in that place, it has been used to emphasise the disturbing connotations that the persona has with their home town.
    • themes
      • Sense of Place = because the persona is visiting their hometown and describing it as someone who is looking back at the person who they were when they lived there.
      • Relationship = The poem shows the relationship between a person and their home town and represents how their attitudes of that particular place has changed since they lived there.
    • language
      • Spatial Dexsis = Throughout the poem Duffy uses spatial dexsis when referring to the town – “Outside, the streets tear litter in their thin hands.” The use of the spatial dexsis “outside” suggests that because of the feelings that they have towards the place they can’t bring themselves to name it, therefore leaving the reader in the dark of where the persona is talking about.
      • Use of pathetic fallacy = Duffy uses pathetic fallacy to represent the persona’s feelings towards the town – “A small moment of death by a window myopic with rain.” The use of pathetic fallacy combined with the concrete noun “rain” reflects the persona’s feelings about the town whilst physically looking at their reflection in the window, as their feelings towards the place mimick their reflection. Also the use of the enjambment of “A small moment // of death” creates a suspense as the reader anticipates what the persona is going to say next also the adjective “small” contrasts with the abstract noun “death” as death is seen as a big thing so by the persona saying “small moment of death” it conveys their negative attitude and how their home town alters their perception of reality.
      • “A taxi implying a hearse takes you slowly, the long way round, to the station. The driver looks like death.” The use of the extended metaphor is implying that the taxi is carrying the corpse of her past self. The use of the idiomatic metaphor – “The driver looks like death” links back to the extended metaphor and adds to the dark connotations of the poem.


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