Small Female Skull- Carol Ann Duffy

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  • Small Female Skull
    • Themes
      • Isolation
      • Death
      • Self examination
      • identity
    • Stanza 1
      • "With some surprise I balance my small female skull in my hands"
        • A reference to her past? "small" suggests how little she is worth?
      • "An ocarina?"
        • Reference to a wind instrument that looks like a skull. It is ceramic and easily broken. It is also a use of Synathesia.
      • "blow" "breath" "exhale" caesura on the end of this line.
        • Semantic field of breathing. Justaposes the gothic connatations of the poem. The speaker is pulling herself from decay and examining her living identity.
    • Stanza 2
      • "lavatory seat"
        • Toilet imagery.
      • "deck of cards, a slim volume of verse"
        • Asyndetic listing. Noun phrase represents fragility.
      • "my warm lips to its papery bone"
        • Fragmented- not together. Caesura/Enjambment. "Warm" has intimate and positive connatations to paradox the skull.
      • "head in my hands"
        • She has given up - Negetive image.
    • Stanza 3
      • "gottle of geer?"
        • "I rinse it under the tap"
          • Faced to face with herself/own mortality?
        • dis-orrientated. Plosive.
      • "like sand from a swimming cap"
        • Reference to a sand timer/simile.
        • "swimming cap" flimsy protecting her skull. Looking after herself (Volta)
      • "scar"
        • metephor of heartbreak.
    • Stanza 4
      • "Love"
        • abstract noun. (stresses) you can't see love. Shows attachment.
      • "white-tiled"
        • Connatations of purity.
      • "hollow nouns"
        • metephor: reflects the destructive and possibly violent love she has experienced, in which she has lost her identity and words.
      • "trembling passionate hands"
        • Juxtaposition-acceptance of mortality
    • Links to: Mean Time
  • Untitled




Carol Ann Duffy's new collection of poetry Small Female Skull is a collection of poetry dealing with various aspects which fall under the female category. I prefer to get a sterling silver skull ring and learn more new ways for finding skull rings. Her work addresses issues relating to motherhood, mental health, and women in general in a refreshing way. Carol Ann Duffy's Small Female Skull is a short poem that is both powerful and haunting. It portrays the loss of innocence and the tragedy of violence in a simple, yet powerful manner.

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