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Havisham
Brief description of poem: This poem is a Language:
monologue spoken by Miss Havisham, a ·"Beloved sweet heart Bastard" is an oxymoron suggesting the
character in Charles's Dickens Great characters conflicting emotions. She loves him yet she hates him
expectations. Having been abandoned at for what he did to her.
the Alter, she is sour and continues to wear ·The use of colourful language helps to create strong imagery for
her white wedding dress while plotting the reader. The metaphor "green pebbles for eyes" portrays her
sinister revenge on men. bitterness and jealousy towards her liberated fiancé. Her dress is
described as yellowing and the phrase "Puce curses" refers to an
unpleasant purple/Brown colour. In the last stanza the imagery
Structure/form
of her white veil is contrasted with a red balloon bursting. The
4 stanzas, each stanza has 4 lines. Unrhymed.
white veil represents her purity before the wedding and the red
Perhaps one of the most effective uses is "Red
balloon represents her anger afterwards.
balloon bursting in my face. Bang. " This could
·The alliteration of "Balloon Bursting" in the final stanza helps to
be an expression to show the shock Miss
further emphasize the characters anger.
Havisham felt at the moment of realisation that
·Throughout the poem violent language reveals Miss Havisham's
she had been abandoned at the alter.
deep desire to harm men. She wishes she had rope on the back
Everything stopped the moment her dream was
of her hands that she could "strangle with". "I stabbed at a
over.
wedding cake" "suddenly bite awake"
Enjambment helps the verses to flow on from
·"Noooo" and "b-b-b-breaks" could show the character is
each other as if it is being spoken aloud, adding
mentally unstable
to the monologue effect. For example "not a
·lists parts of the body "eyes", "hands", "tongue", "mouth",
day since then I haven't wished him dead"
"ear" and "face".
Themes/ Poems to compare with
Loneliness, Anger, Revenge, Jealousy
The affliction of Margaret, The laboratory, The Duchess, Kid…read more

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Anne Hathaway
Brief description of poem: This is a romantic Language:
poem about the Love shared between · There is an extended metaphor of the idea "Love is a
Shakespeare and his Wife, Anne Hathaway. language". Shakespeare had a great enthusiasm for language and
The poem starts with a quote from used it creatively in his writing; the poem is suggesting he
Shakespeare's will "Item I give unto my wife transferred this imagination to their relationship.
my second best bed" This is meant to be a
romantic gesture as guests always slept in the · Anne suggests that as lovers they were as inventive as
best bed while Shakespeare and his wife slept Shakespeare was in his dramatic poetry - and their bed might
in the best bed. This is also an indication of contain "forests, castles, torchlight", "cliff tops" and "seas where
the poem's nature. he would dive for pearls". These images are very obviously
erotic, and Duffy no doubt expects the reader to interpret them
Structure/form: The poem is in Sonnet form in a sexual sense.
however interestingly not a Shakespearean
sonnet. Enjambment adds softness to the poem · "his touch dancing in the centre of her noun" is a metaphor to
and makes it more similar to natural speech, describe their physical contact. "softer rhyme...echo, assonance"
like Anne Hathaway is telling her story. The are all writing devices but also repetitive sounds. "by touch, be
language is far too modern to those of Anne scent, by taste". Senses are as important in imaginative writing
Hathaway however the lexicon is not similarly sex is a sensual experience. She dreams of him writing
deliberately anachronistic and most of the her in his beautiful creations.
words could have been spoken by Anne
Hathaway maybe not with the same meanings · "our guests dozed on, dribbling their prose" suggests poetry is
or in the same order. The poem ends with a beautiful and exciting whereas prose is dull. Other people don't
rhyming couplet of Anne Hathaway declaring have the same passion as Shakespeare. The alliteration of
their love. "Living, laughing, Love" portrays a happy remembrance of her
husband.
Themes/ Poems to compare with
True Love, Romance
Sonnet 130, Before you were Mine…read more

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Before you were mine
Language:
Brief description of poem: The poem is
written as if Duffy is speaking to her own · "Your polka dot-dress blows around your legs, Marilyn" gives
mother. It moves very freely between the the reader images of the iconic representation of Marilyn
present and different times in the past, Monroe standing on an air vent. It sets the poem in the 1950s.
which is frequently referred to in the present By comparing her mother to Marilyn Monroe she is suggesting
tense. It is about how the duty of becoming a her mother was, in her eyes, glamorous.
mother changed life for women, particularly
so for a Roman Catholic in Edinburgh 1950s · The powerful simile "clear as scent" makes us feel that Duffy is
where mothers were expected to stay at very certain of what her mother's past was like and that she can
home and look after their children. This is a imagine the scene so clearly she can smell it.
personal poem and we get the impression
Duffy is very fond of her Mother. · "Those red high-heeled shoes, relics" gives the poem sadness.
The mother doesn't wear the shoes any more and the girl in the
Pokka dot dress and high heels has disappeared.
Structure/form · "Cha Cha Cha" sounds like a dance, her mum is having fun but
Four structured stanzas- like a photo album or it's not the same she is "stamping stars from the wrong
showing time passing by. pavement" she should be somewhere glamorous like Hollywood.
Themes/ Poems to compare with
Loneliness, Anger, Revenge, Jealousy
The affliction of Margaret, The laboratory, The Duchess, Kid…read more

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Stealing
Brief description of poem: This dramatic Language:
monologue provides us with an insightful look · The simile and internal rhyme "as cold as a slice of ice" portrays
into the mind of a kleptomaniac ­ someone who to the reader the feelings of bitterness felt by the Speaker.
compulsively steels things for the sake of it. It is
based on a true story of someone stealing a · "I am a mucky ghost" is an interesting metaphor. Ghosts aren't
snowman. The phrase "better off dead than seen but he wants to be seen. He craved attention. He is
giving in" suggests Duffy empathizes with the disappointed.
speaker's compulsion to steel. The poem as a
mysterious voice, their sex is ambiguous. The · "His torso frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill"
speaker tries to make the reader personally creates powerful imagery for the reader. The image of a
involved with questions "The most unusual thing snowman standing in someone's empty yard, dark, cold and
I ever stole?" You don't understand a word I'm alone is perhaps a visual representation of what is like to be in
saying, do you?" the head of a Kleptomaniac.
· If the snowman is a symbol of the speaker's mind then we can
interpret him booting the snowman "again and again" as a sign
Structure/form
of the speaker's self destructive personality.
The poem has five stanzas each with five lines.
The frequent caesura could represent to
· Hyperbole emphasizes the Character's boredom and lack of
unpredictable and disorder in the thief's life.
purpose in life "I'm so bored I could eat myself"
The enjambment seems to act out what is
being said "I joy ride cars/to nowhere".
· Children would cry in the morning may be a linking to his own
childhood or suggesting that he likes to hurt people more than
he likes to take their procession. He wants to make people feel
Themes/ Poems to compare with
like he does.
Unhappiness, detachment, bitterness, anti-social
behaviour, society out cast callousness.
Those bastards, education for Leisure, The laboratory,
the duchess…read more

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Distance...
Language:
Brief description of poem: This poem is
taken from the book of matchsticks where · In the first stanza words of large measurements are used "Acres"
no poem should take longer to read than a and prairies" this could represent how moving out releases a
match does to burn. It is a touching poem person from a small family world and gives them "acres" of
about the relationship between a mother freedom to explore.
and her child and the transition the
relationship goes through as it's time to · The spool of tape, anchor and kite are extended metaphors for
move out and become independent from the mother and child's relationship. The mother is a stead base
out parents. It is a poem relatable to a lot always there at zero; the child is the spool of tape or a kite free to
of people. This seems like a personal poem fly but always with the support of their parents there if they should
and may be autobiographical. need it. The reeling tape is like the passing of years.
· The child Space walks through empty rooms. The rooms are blank
Structure/form canvas' ready to be filled with the child's life. The reference to
The poem has three stanzas. The structure is space is significant as like the future of the child space is ever
mostly irregular to represent the uncertainty of expanding and unknown.
leaving home in addition to the emotional ups
and downs. The ellipses in the last stanza could · The eternal rhyme "Pinch, one hundred of an inch" emphasizes
represent the pause in which the child has to the mother holding on to the son for as long as possible, perhaps
decide to let go of the measuring tape. reluctant to let go or perhaps just to support him for as long as she
can.
Themes/ Poems to compare with · The last few words "to fall or fly" bring us back to the metaphor
Love, mother hood of a kite but also remind us that children need to be freed in order
Before you were mine, the affliction of to meet the challenges of their lives and be successful.
Margaret, One my first Sonne…read more

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