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The Manhunt is written from the perspective of the
wife of a soldier who has sustained serious injuries
at war and has returned home. The poem explores
the physical and mental effects of living with injuries
sustained when on active service in the armed
The Manhunt is about the patience and care of
love. The wife in the poem is methodical and
The poem is made up of a series of couplets, mostly unrhymed. This creates a
thorough in her search, exploring her husband's
sense of fragmentation, which matches the feelings of the soldier's wife as she
injured body with love and care.
seeks to understand the man her husband has become.
The poem also explores the cost of war on
The poem describes the phases of a wife's search for answers from her injured those serving in the armed forces. The man
husband who has recently returned from a war zone. The poem ends when the has a ""grazed heart"", perhaps literally from an
search is brought to a close. injury caused by ""the metal beneath his chest"",
Language but also metaphorically. He is unable to connect
· The title puns on the idea of the 'manhunt', meaning literally a hunt to capture a with his wife, unwilling to speak of his
man, often a criminal. Here the wife's search is for the husband she knew so well experiences, and so their loving relationship is
but who seems lost to her, metaphorically, after his experiences at war. affected. The image of the metal bullet still
· Many of the first lines of the couplets have prominent verbs, reflecting the inside him as a ""foetus"" suggests that, like
activities of the wife as she conducts her ""search"". Words and phrases like having a baby, the couple's relationship will be
""explore"", ""handle and hold"", ""mind and attend"" are all references to careful forever changed by what he has gone through.
treatment of her husband's injured body, as well as suggesting her patient care Lines 23 and 24 present the metaphor of ""a
for his mental state. sweating, unexploded mine buried deep in his
· The speaker refers to parts of the husband's body metaphorically, comparing mind"". The source of the problem is not
physical but mental, and threatens to cause
them to inanimate objects rather than to living things. His jaw is a ""blown hinge"",
problems at any time. The importance of the
suggesting that he is no longer open to her, perhaps unable to talk of his feelings
wife's care and delicacy is highlighted by her
and experiences. His collar bone is ""damaged, porcelain"", a metaphor that
discovery of this problem.
brings to mind something hard but also easily chipped and cold, a reminder of the The poem is not about judging the rights and
""frozen river which ran through his face"". wrongs of war, but the impact of war on one
· There are lots of sensual, loving verbs in the poem, reflecting the intimacy of particular relationship. This is made clear in the
husband and wife, and keen devotion from the wife hoping to heal her husband. final line of the poem: ""Then, and only then, did
The wife says that she is able to ""climb the rungs of his broken ribs"", a closely I come close"". Her search is not fully
observed detail of her hands exploring the altered body of her husband. The successful, she only comes ""close"", and only
idea of the ladder is reflective of the effort involved in the wife's gradual search after she realises that her husband's problems
In Paris with You The male speaker in the poem In Paris with You is unwilling to discuss his experiences of the past, instead he is keen to focus on the prese
The husband in The Manhunt is similarly closed on the subject of the past. lie as much in memories of his experiences as
The Farmer's Bride, To His Coy Mistress The Manhunt is written from the perspective of a woman exploring they do
her in his physical
feelings scars. and their relationsh
for her husband
Many of the other poems in this collection are from a male point of view, such as The Farmer's Bride and To His Coy Mistress.…read more
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Hour is about the feelings that arise from spending time with a loved one. The poem suggests that to be with a
loved one, even for just an hour, is precious and valuable. It also presents the traditional idea of time as an
obstacle to lovers.
· The traditional battle of love versus time is boldly presented in the poem: Comparisson
""Time hates love"". The poem questions the assumption that time will
triumph, forcing a separation. Instead ""love spins gold, gold, gold from
Carol Ann straw"". Duffy alludes to the fairytale character Rumpelstiltskin, able to
Sonnet 116, To
Structure transform straw into gold. This reference adds a magical feel to the closing Mistress, In
· Hour follows the structure of a Shakespearean lines. It is an image that sums up the key theme: love can find riches in Paris With You
sonnet: it has fourteen lines and a predictable anything - ""straw"" or even ""a grass ditch"". · Like Hour,
· The poem is about enjoying the intimacy of a moment in time rather than
rhyme scheme (a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g). Sonnet 116
thinking about the world beyond. The simple nature of the experience is a
Sonnets often use a final rhyming couplet to makes
reminder that material possessions cannot replace something as magical
offer a 'turn' in the meaning; however, Duffy and powerful as time spent with a loved one. reference
only offers a partial turn, which is confirmation · The opening words ""Love's time's beggar"" echo another poem in the to the idea
of the idea that love will always triumph by 'Relationships' section of the AQA Anthology, Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 of the battle
finding unlikely sources of value. (""Love's not Time's fool""), which also explores the relationship between between
love and the passage of time. love and
Language time, as
· Hour has many references to money and riches, contrasting the concept of material wealth and possessions against love and does To
time spent with a loved one. His Coy
· Line three puns on the word ""spend"", and is typical of the way in which the poem investigates the themes of love and money: Mistress.
· We find an hour together, spend it not on flowers · To His Coy
· Or wine, but the whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch. Mistress is
· The traditional territory of lovers (""Flowers"" and ""wine"") is replaced by alternatives: for example, ""a grass ditch"" is an about the
improbable romantic location. There is simplicity and perfection to ""the whole of the summer sky"", an image rich in meaning, a value of
visual feast for a loving couple lying down together and looking up. They enjoy the ""Midas light"". (Midas was the mythical king being in the
whose touch turned things to gold.) present and
· As the poem's title suggests, time is an important consideration for the lovers. ""For thousands of seconds we kiss"" is a enjoying
striking phrase, offering the idea of excess - ""thousands"" - with the limitation of available time, measured in seconds. This the
precise measurement indicates how precious time is to the speaker, a ""treasure"" to be carefully counted. moment,
· The pleasure and riches that the couple gather in an hour allow them to feel as if they are frozen in time: ""Time slows, for rather than
here/we are millionaires, backhanding the night"". The hour spent together in the golden light gives them a sense of power, thinking
making them feel as if they can bribe the darkness to hold back, giving the lovers immense joy and wealth. ahead - the
· There is a contrast between images traditionally seen as romantic (or associated with wealth) and the ordinary: ""Flowers"" same key
and ""grass ditch"" compare to a ""jewel"" and ""cuckoo spit"" (insect eggs left on long grass); ""sunlight"" contrasts with a theme as
""chandelier""; ""gold"" contrasts with ""straw"". These contrasts emphasise the romance of the lovers' time together. Traditional Hour.
ideas are shown to be unimportant compared to the personal experience of the two characters. · Like Hour,
· Hour also makes frequent references to images of light in contrast to the night and the darkness of inevitable separation. In Paris
These include: ""Bright"", ""summer sky"", ""Midas light"", ""shining hour"", ""candle"", ""chandelier or spotlight"". Duffy uses light with You
to suggest a positive, warm, optimistic liaison. Rather than dwelling on the darkness of separation the lovers make the most of also rejects
the time they have together. traditional…read more
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In Paris with You is recounted by a (the narrator) whose relationship has
In Paris with
just ended and who is now in Paris with someone else (""I'm on the
rebound""). This suggests a long-term relationship has ended and the
speaker is currently enjoying a less serious liaison. The narrator doesn't
want to examine the aftermath of the serious relationship: he doesn't want
to talk things over or even visit galleries or landmarks; he just wants to
James enjoy the moment rather than thinking of the future or the past.
Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful · The poem has four stanzas of five or six lines, with a longer stanza of nine lines in the centre, acting as a chorus in
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two. which the mood of the poem changes. The first half of the poem deals with the lead up to the current situation; the
I'm one of your talking wounded. second half is concerned with enjoying the present. The repeated line ""I'm in Paris with you"" - and variations on it -
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded. can be described as a refrain (lines that are repeated in a song). The use of repetition reflects the speaker's insistent
But I'm in Paris with you. concentration on the present.
· The poem has a regular rhyme scheme in the four stanzas, adding to the poem's musical quality. The rhyme
scheme in these four stanzas can be described as a-b-c-c-b (with the final b in the extra line of the last stanza). The
Yes I'm angry at the way I've been bamboozled stanza in the centre of the poem makes use of half rhyme. The contrasting rhyme of ""Elysees"" and ""sleazy"" gives
And resentful at the mess I've been through. a comic effect.
I admit I'm on the rebound Language Themes
· In Paris with You opens with an emphatic negative: · The poem is about surfacing from a long-term
And I don't care where are we bound.
""Don't talk to me of love"". The speaker has ""had an relationship but not thinking about it in the aftermath. It
I'm in Paris with you. earful"" and wants to stop thinking about love. The line is about enjoying a time of closeness without having to
is repeated at the start of two more stanzas. However, take responsibility for the past or the future. ""I'm in
Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre, this is not a negative poem but one which celebrates Paris with you"" is a mantra (a repeated sound or
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame, the intimacy of a relationship. phrase that can transform you) which contains the key
If we skip the Champs Elysées · The poem is written in the first person and addresses a theme of enjoying the present.
And remain here in this sleazy lover. There are lines that hint at a conversation with a · In Paris with You rejects the traditional concerns of
lover, but we only hear one person's side of the romance. The famous sights of the usually romantic
Old hotel room
dialogue: ""Yes I'm angry"" and ""Am I embarrassing city of Paris are unimportant to the narrator:
Doing this and that you?"" The poem seems even more intimate; we are Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre,
To what and whom almost made to feel as if we're eavesdropping. If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
Learning who you are, If we skip the Champs Elysées
Learning what I am. · There is a repeated use of colloquial (everyday)
language, suggesting this is an informal, honest poem. Instead the speaker concentrates on the ""sleazy/Old hotel
Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris, Phrases such as ""had an earful"", ""downed a drink or room"" with its ""crack across the ceiling"" in which the
two"", ""say sod off to sodding Notre Dame"" and ""walls are peeling"". These details are unique to the
The little bit of Paris in our view.
""Doing this and that"" make the poem down-to-earth. narrator's experience of being in Paris with a lover - ""I'm
There's that crack across the ceiling Such language also contrasts with the falsely poetic in Paris with the slightest thing you do"" - which sums up
And the hotel walls are peeling tone often found in literature about love, replacing it to the poem's message: being together is far more important
And I'm in Paris with you. comic effect. than typical romantic locations and analytical conversation
· Word play is another technique used to generate
Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris. humour. The speaker refers to his weariness at having
I'm in Paris with the slightest thing you do. to talk about his failed relationship: ""I'm one of your Comparison
talking wounded"", a pun on the phrase 'walking Born Yesterday, Hour
I'm in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
wounded' (used in the context of war), which he then · The poem compares well to Born Yesterday in that
I'm in Paris with... all points south. rhymes with ""maroonded"", a partly nonsense word
Am I embarrassing you? each poem rejects traditional ideas.
used to maintain the rhyme scheme. This brings a fun
I'm in Paris with you. and inventive tone to the poem.
· Hour is also about a relationship blossoming in
· The final stanza repeats ""I'm in Paris with..."" four ordinary settings, focusing on the preciousness of
times, and offers both comical and sensual references the present time rather than the past and future.
to the speaker's enthusiasm for the person he is with.…read more
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Quickdraw is a one-sided snapshot of a relationship. The speaker of the poem is waiting for
contact from her lover. The context of the relationship is unclear, and we do not know if the
speaker welcomes contact or not. It would appear that some sort of disagreement or separation
has occurred before the events presented in the poem.
· Quickdraw explores the way in which relationships can
· Quickdraw has four stanzas of four lines each, two of which
are joined by enjambment, where one line carries on into the
become a struggle for power, often leading to ""shootouts""
or arguments. It's an essentially humorous poem, even
though it deals with an emotional struggle. The ending of
the poem is ambiguous - is the speaker responding with
loving text messages, or negative ones? What is her
· There is no rhyme scheme or regular rhythm. The poem is response?
largely written in free verse. · Quickdraw purposefully uses imagery from the historic
Language western film genre to clash with contemporary references to
· Quickdraw plays on imagery associated with western (cowboy) films, mobile phones and text messages, drawing attention to the
as the title suggests. ""Gunslingers"" is a term used in the western to idea that relationships have long been this way. Whatever
describe those who fight with guns, often shooting from the hip. The lovers choose as 'weapons', relationships remain the same.
poem starts by replacing weapons with mobile phones: ""like guns,
slung from the pockets on my hips"". Duffy is making a humorous
comment on the way in which relationships can be like a fight, or Comparison
""showdown"", but the imagery also suggests violence in the
Like Quickdraw, Nettles makes use of imagery from a
· There is a light-hearted mood to the poem, created by images that are
different context to bring significance to seemingly
typical of slapstick (physical humour): ""I twirl the phone,/then squeeze
the trigger of my tongue"". Here the metaphor of the tongue as a everyday circumstances.
weapon perfectly describes an argument and is comic when combined
with the alliteration of the 't' sounds. Sister Maude
· Punctuation is also used by Duffy to reflect the feelings of the speaker. Sister Maude also presents the idea of conflict and
In the first stanza a long opening sentence is followed by a very short violence in a relationship but between sisters rather
one - ""I'm all/alone."" - which creates tension in a comedic way, as we, than lovers.
like the speaker, prepare for the ringing of phones. Punctuation is again
used in this way in the final stanza, as the speaker ""reel""s at the
receipt of receiving two text messages at once. She composes her
reply ""Take this.../and this... and this... and this... and this..."", which
sounds like the shots of a gun, or lots of kisses. The poem is
purposefully ambiguous, so the meaning of the final line is open to
interpretation. Perhaps the speaker is giving in, returning the ""silver
bullets of your kisses"" with her own or it could this be one last attempt
at a shootout?…read more
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Ghazal is a love poem in which a speaker seeks to secure the love and attention of another. The precise
details are unclear, but the poem gives the impression that the feelings of the speaker are not shared by
Ghaza the object of their affections.
A Ghazal is an ancient Arabic form of poetry which usually involves 5 or more
couplets and its main theme is usually to praise someone or something. The stanzas
are referred to as `shers'.
The couplets in this poem all end in `me' and all except stanzas 6, 7 and 10 begin
with `if' which is conditional and shows uncertainty, cause to effect, as if the
If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me.
If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me.
consequences of the narrator's wishes hang in the balance dependant on what the
Ghazal poems are usually spiritual and based around love and religion and our
interpretation of this poem is that it is addressed to a higher being such as a God, as
there are continuous references to nature and the narrator seems to look up to the
If you are the rhyme and I the refrain, don't hang person or being she is addressing as if they are a higher power, e.g. `weave a spell
on my lips, come and I'll come too when you cue me. and subdue me' which implies she wants them to control her and keep her in line.
- The use of direct address `I' and `you' give insight into the narrator's thoughts and
If yours is the iron fist in the velvet glove feelings and include the reader in the poem as if the reader is the person whom the
when the arrow flies, the heart is pierced, tattoo me. narrator is addressing.
- Caesuras are used repeatedly throughout the poem, and we thought that this was to
If mine is the venomous tongue, the serpent's tail, separate the initial point and then the explanation in some cases and also to
charmer, use your charm, weave a spell and subdue me. separate references to herself and references to the other person to differentiate as
well as connecting them.
If I am the laurel that wreathes your brow, you are - Enjambement is used to show continuation of their love and the connection between
the arms around my bark, arms that never knew me. them as the metaphors carry on between lines which indicates that the metaphor
links both of them so puts emphasis on what she is and what he is, as well as what
Oh would that I were bark! So old and still in leaf. they are together.
- The question mark used at the end of stanza 7, we thought was a sign of uncertainty
And you, dropping in my shade, dew to bedew me!
as it changes the line to be questioning and unsure however the last stanza is a
much more definite command as it does not begin with `if'.
What shape should I take to marry your own, have you- The references to `Shamsuddin', a dirvish (someone who dances in circular motions
hawk to my shadow, moth to my flame pursue me? in the belief that it enables them to communicate with gods), and `Rumi', a 13th
century Persian poet who was friends with Shamsuddin, again bring in religious and
If I rise in the east as you die in the west, spiritual aspects to the poem as well as cultural context.
die for my sake, my love, every night renew me. - A final point of interest to
that the that
stanza of Ghazal poems generally tiethe
· There is frequent reference idea lover can complete a person . ""I am grass
author's name in a sort of wordplay, and this poem also has this on the
and you the breeze"" and ""dew to bedew me"" are both natural images of pairs and things line `I'll be
If, when it ends, we are just good friends, be my Friend, togethertwice enhance
the me', each
other.to the images
Both fact thatarethe author's with
concerned name is `Mimi'.
physical closeness and
muse, brother and guide, Shamsuddin to my Rumi. suggest the idea that the love of another person is an experience which causes a
transformation or change. Grass is made to move and create a rhythmic sound when the wind
Be heaven and earth to me and I'll be twice the me blows through it, for example.
I am, if only half the world you are to me. · ""Be heaven and earth to me and I'll be twice the me/I am"" is a key line in the poem. It
expresses the speaker's opinion that by receiving the love of the person they desire they will
become greater, as if having the love of another is a powerful force which increases a person's
· But Ghazal also explores the way in which love and longing can be both positive and…read more