Carol Ann Duffy Poems Analysis

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Sophie Nicholls
Carol Ann Duffy Poems
Duffy waiting for an answer from another person.
Love poem in which she is trying to convey her feelings
for another person
Called `Answer' so needs to be implied question ­
seems to be will you still love me, will you marry me
etc. ­ poem answers question
Poem takes the form of a love poem
Metaphors and similes
Transferred epithet ­ "eyes a sightless
Refers to the 4 elements (earth, air, fire and
water) ­Shakespeare's day believed our
characters were composed of these four elements
Final verse ­ still love the person even if leads to
Juxtaposition ­ contrast of positivity and negativity
Poem has tight structure ­ 4 verses ­ beginning with a
conditional `if' and ending with an affirmation `yes,
Duffy recalls how she used to be close with her
brothers but drifted apart from them as they grew
4 brothers, 4 stanzas, 4 lines
"These four men" suggest alienation from family
"An altar boy, a boy practising scales, a boy playing
tennis with a wall, a baby" ­ a
particular facet of their person
Sense of repetition ­ memory trying to
be held onto "reciting their names"
Memories of her brothers lead her to
thinking of her mother
"Word that broke her heart" ­ lesbian
Occupation and childhood hobby defines them again
shows distant relationship
"How tall they have grown" ­ again suggests distant
End of poem suggests she is more successful but also
more responsible than her brothers "One day I shall
pay for a box and watch them shoulder it"
Head Of English

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Sophie Nicholls
Dramatic monologue about how Duffy visited a school
to speak about poetry and the head of English was
really rude to her
Structure is ordered suggests the
discipline and order imposed on
"A real live poet" immediately
Imperative verbs ­ show controlling attitude
"Now sit up straight and listen" ­ suggests punchiness
and authority
Short and holophrastic sentence
Cost important to poetic voice not benefits that may
be acquired
The visiting poet's input is absent
In Mrs Tilscher's Class
Examines the…read more

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Sophie Nicholls
Old fashioned "frock" "from Oxfam"
Tension between male and female
Mind over matter "but she could stare
them out"
Repitition "Of course, a job; of course..."
Holophrastic sentence
Duffy suggests similarity "she lived lie you do"
Evident conversation ­ italics indicate direct speech
Euphemism ­ "She told stories"
Synonyms for lies "hyperbole, falsehood...…read more

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Sophie Nicholls
It is a dramatic monologue
Starts and ends with a rhetorical
Language is plain ordinary and
First Person
Random rhyme
Simile "a mate as cold as the slice of ice"
Holophrasitc phrases ­ blunt "Again. Again.…read more

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Sophie Nicholls
"Finally alone" more comfortable in own company
"Spools of suffering set out" sibilance
Happening all across the world "Belfast. Beirut.…read more


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