How does Duffy make ‘Dream of a lost friend’ memorable?

This isn't perfect but i got an A, i hope it's helpful:)

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How does Duffy make `Dream of a lost
friend' memorable?
Duffy's poem `Dream of a lost friend' is very relatable and memorable. Written about a friend who died of
AIDS in the 1960's, Duffy makes this poem realistic and emotional through short sentences, feelings and
many other techniques. Duffy always hoped that the death of her `lost friend' (euphemism) was just a bad
The word `dream' is repeated 7 times throughout this poem, this is memorable because it emphasises the
desperation and hard wishing everyone felt, wanting to revive this dream so they did not have to accept the
difficult death they had to experience. `My dear, my dear why must this be' is written in italics and `my dear' is
repeated twice to demonstrate how unfair the situation is, also showing the vulnerability of the dying friend.
This makes the poem memorable as you can envisage the awful situation and the horrifying symptoms such
as `white lips'. The ill friend is desperate to be revived from the cusp of death as they whisper `help me'.
These italics emphasise the helplessness surrounding people must've felt as the friend was slowly slipping
away right in front of their eyes.
`We embraced, standing in a long corridor which harboured a fierce pain neither of us felt yet' is a
memorable line as you can imagine the long symbolic corridor leading up to the friends death later in the
poem, `a fierce pain neither of us felt yet' proves the shock and denial they were feeling. `Frenzied prayers to
chemistry' shows the desperation to find a cure for them, which is relatable because if somebody you knew
was dying, you would do anything for a cure. `A child-mans laugh' is memorable because it is portraying the
injustice, and how young this person really was. `A dream ....only a bad dream' is Duffy trying to tell herself
it's not happening and it's not real as she can't believe it.. Stanza 2 lists long sounding words; long,
harboured, fierce, frenzied, innocent and hysterical are all sharp, worrying words that are beginning to build
to the climax of the poem.
`A virus, an idle, charmed, purposeful enemy' it's not rampant but it's evil, this is personification and a power
of 3 `it dreams they are dead already' also emphasises how evil it's work is. `Dreams' is repeated 3 times in
stanza 3, this is because the hopelessness they feel gets more and more in each stanza, the lines also get
longer to emphasise this. `You look well, how do you feel?' is in italics, the friend looks better, is this a
dream? This is memorable because yet again it demonstrates the infinite hope they were feeling and how
they were hoping it was `only a bad dream'.
`As I slept, you backed away from me, crying' `waving' shows how Duffy is losing her friend, in her dream she
is replaying the death of her friend, memorable due to the fragmented sentences and emphasised
desperation. `I missed your funeral' is a rush of memory, and in my opinion, the most memorable line in the
poem because the friend meant a lot to her yet she didn't attend the funeral which seems strange to me. `At
the end of the corridor, thumbs up, acting' is symbolic of the long death the friend experienced, that has
come to an end as she dies. Duffy pretends to be happy but `almost hopeful' it was `just a bad dream'.
In conclusion, Duffy makes `Dream of a lost friend memorable through the use of poetic techniques,
emotional language, fragmented sentences and language to emphasise the injustice of the situation as well
as the desperation.


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