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Moonlight on the Tides
AO2 (Language, Structure, Form)
Poetry Anthology Notes - Carys 11H
(Sorry, there's nothing on `Sister
Maude', `Brothers' or `In Paris with You')…read more

Slide 2

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The Manhunt
· `the damaged, porcelain collar-bone' reveals a sense of fragility following his injuries
with his lung described as `parachute silk' shows the tenderness the narrator has for
husband (as it's written in the 1st person) and desire to protect him.
· Verbs give an idea of man's passivity, `he let me' suggests that actions are preserved for
his self-preservation. Contrastingly, the partner's verbs are active, ` trace', `explore' and
`handle' ­ the actions are soothing and gentle as opposed to the language in the poem's
semantic field of damage and pain.
Structure & Form
· Uses rhyming couplets to convey a new idea which links to the theme of partnership and
togetherness, however, mixture of full and half rhymes suggest it's not complete. The
cheery rhyme scheme contrasts with content and highlights complexity of his mental
anguish, `unexploded mine/burred deep in his mind'. `mine' and `mind' show a clear
link between the potential sudden violence of an exploding mine and the mental state of
the man.…read more

Slide 3

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· Imagery creates a sense of war with an extended metaphor : nettles are referred to as
`regiment' on `parade' who return as `tall recruits' and the `fallen dead'. The semantic
field of pain, `raw', `sharp wounds' and `burn' intensifies the severity of child's wounds
and contrasts with the language presenting the child as `tender' and `watery' prompting
the parent and reader's desire to protect and shield.
Structure & Form
· Structure demonstrates themes of love and battle. Iambic pentameter used has
resonances with a sonnet form which shows, and has thematic links to, the father's love
for his son. This also gives a methodical rhythm, alongside the systematic rhyme scheme,
reminiscent of marching ­ possibly link to a military theme as well as showing the father'
s determination to protect his song from the onslaught of life's pain.…read more

Slide 4

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· Extended metaphors of richness and light fill the poem's themes of love and
togetherness with value and a sparkling quality: `coin', `treasure', `gold', `jewel',
`millionaires' which compounds with `light', `shining', `candle', `chandelier' and
Structure & Form
· Duffy manipulates with a sonnet form. The organisation of each quatrain (four lines) and
final couplet is reminiscent of Shakespearian regularity: ideas are introduced, developed,
linked, summarised. This reveals the struggle for love in today's busy society, however,
keeping the sonnet form maintains, if not increases, the metaphorical value of
togetherness and love despite the time constraints.
· Rhyme scheme appears to follow the sonnet sequence of abab, cdcd, efef, gg. Shades of
half-rhyme are also used to introduce insecurity, `hair/here', `hour/ear' which offer a
slight imbalance to metaphorically show a subtle shadow being cast over the ` rapture' of
the couple's feelings. It could be argued that there is a sensuality to the rhyming,
reminiscent of lovers `connecting' and touching.…read more

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· Extended metaphor through the poem creates a picture of the dynamic of the relationship
presented. Words are compared to bullets, quickly fired without thought and impossible to
take back: `your voice a pellet', designed to hurt. Potentially shows weakness and tension in
the relationship? There is a sense of high stakes desperation about the battle, reinforced
with mention of specific famous Westerns: `High Noon' and `Last Chance Saloon' ­ as if to
suggest that this conversation marks some kind of turning point.
Structure & Form
· Sonnet is fragmented in two places, as if to echo the fragmented nature of real
conversation. The break of lines also allows Duffy to draw attention to the broken phrases,
`you've wounded me/through the heart', which contain a central conceit of their own and
are physically highlighted on the page.
· The rhyme scheme is similarly broken: `phones' should rhyme with `alone' in a couplet
however it emphasises her loneliness and vulnerability, foreshadowing the ` groan' at the
end of the first stanza. The structure of the language represents her feelings.…read more

Slide 6

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· Images often come in complementary pairs with the whole greater than the sum of its
parts ; for example, a `rhyme' and `refrain' make up a poem but neither is a poem in
itself. Examples in the poem include, `if I am the grass and you are the breeze, blow
through me' and `If I am the laurel leaf in your crown, you are/ the arms around my
bark'. Most of the couplets begin with `if' creating a condition which is fulfilled in the
second half ­ both parts must be present for it to be possible.
· Repetition of key words and phrases is used to complement the repetitive pattern of the
ghazal form, `come', `charm', `arms' and `die' are all repeated to create different effects.
Structure & Form
· Poem takes a Persian structure with an organised, regular structure ­ stanzas are all the
same length; follow a central argument of seduction; self contained and has a regular
rhythm to evoke a compelling and interesting romance.
· The writer signs the poem `twice the me' ­ it's ironic because the author is called Mimi.…read more

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