poems themes

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  • POETRY: CAROL ANN DUFFY - THEMES
    • TIME
      • Mean time - lack of time and length of the days to describe how the persona is feeling about a past lover. persona seems to be blaming feelings on itself.
        • "The clocks slid back an hour and stole light from my life."
          • could be interpreted in the literal sense of the clocks going back an hour or in a metaphorical sense that it took something away from the persona.
      • The captain of the 1964 top of the form team- shows contrast between two different times in the perosnas life and how overtime things that mattered as a child has no relevance as an adult. it shows how much time can affect a person's perspective on certain items. in the poem the persona wants to revers time and go back to a time where they were more important and the centre of attention.
        • " i want it back "
      • Before you were mine - the persona is looking into a different time when her mother was younger. she is able to see what her mother was like before the persona was born and see a clear contrast between her now and when she was younger.
    • SENSE OF PLACE
      • Never go back - the persona is describing a place in which they detest, there are many bad memories attached to the place that the persona is able to vividly describe using vivid imagery.
      • Stafford afternoon - Duffy is describing her own childhood event, as when Duffy was younger she moved to Stafford. in the poem she represents Stafford as a place if familiarity, a family friendly place and a pleasant one too. this contrasts with later in the poem as it is represented as a place of danger.
        • "the gardens were empty// and ice-cream van chimed"
        • "too late. Touch said the long- haired man"
      • Beachcomber - it is about a woman looking back into a photograph and describing exactly what is in the photograph.
        • " in her bucket, a starfish, seaweed // a dozen alarmingly crabs"
    • MEMORIES
      • The biographer - about a biographer looking into the past of their subjects life. in the poem the person uses their own memories about how their subject affected them.
        • "i'm a passionate man// with a big advance// who's loved your work since he was a boy"
          • the persona reveals more about himself than he would like as he is revealing personal memories
      • First love- is about the personal waking up with the memorise of their first love, these memories then seem to control them and not let the persona think about anything else
        • "waking, with a dream of first love forming real words, as close to my lips as lipstick."
      • the cliche kid - the persona appears to be recalling memories to a therapist and reveals how strange and unusual their memories are
        • !i need help, doc, and bad; i can't forget// the rustle of my father's ball gown."
    • THE PAST
      • Nostalgia- it is about the origin of the word 'nostalgia' it is looking into the past and finding out about how mercenaries that were Swiss went to a different country to fight but go ill because they are homesick and one died, this then evolved into becoming the word 'nostalgia.
        • "those early mercenaries, it made them ill// leaving the mountains , leaving the high-fine air"
      • Before you were mine -  the poem is about a daughter looking at a photograph of her mother when she was younger
        • "i'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on."
      • The captain of the 1964 top of the form team - the poem show a clear contrast between the past and the present ans how things change. For example in this poem it is about the things that were seen to be important as a child, in the past and how now in the present they are irrelevant.
    • RELATIONSHIPS
      • First love- the poem is about a women who wakes up after dreaming about her first love, it represents 'firsts loves' as something memorable and something that is pure and innocent
        • " This was a child's love, and yet i clench my eyes // till the picture returned .."
      • Valentine- the poem is trying to show that love/ relationships aren't all fun and they can also be painful and damaging
        • "Here // it will blind you with tears // like a lover."
        • "not a red rose or a satin heart"
      • close - the poem shows the negative side of relationships and shows the side that the people don't normally associate with the idea of a relationship
        • "lock the door, in the dark journey of our night. //"
        • "undress. A suitcase crammed with secrets // burst in the wardrobe at the foot of the bed."
    • IDENTITY
      • The captain of the 1964 top of the form team - the persona knew that they when they were younger their identity was that they were clever, popular etc. however, as they have grown up they have lost part of their identity as is now wondering who they are trying to figure put their identity
      • the cliche kid - the persona appears confused of their identity, because of their unconventional upbringing. the persona is having to seek medical attention because the confusion of their identity is causing them so many problems.
      • The Biographer- the persona of the poem wants to be like the subject of the biography that they are writing, because of this they don't have a clear sense of their own personality - "i have an affair with a thespian girl // you would have approved."

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