Carol Ann Duffy was first female Poet Laureate in 2009.
Born in 1955 in Glasgow.
Wrote poems giving voice to the dispossessed (people excluded from society).
Gritty, disturbing style, black humour to make social and political points.
Hour is part of Rapture Collection (2005) exploring highs and lows of romantic relationship.
About feelings arising from spending time with loved one, when with loved one, time is precious and valuable.
Also presents traditional idea of time as obstacle to lovers.
Shakespearean sonnet form - 14 lines with predictable rhyme scheme ababcdcdefefggg.
Usually final couplet offers turn in meaning.
Duffy only uses partial turn to confirm idea that love will always triumph by finding unlikely sources of value.
Many references to money and riches, contrasts concept of material wealth and possessons against love and time with loved one.
Line three puns on 'spend' - typical of poem investigating themes of love and money.
Traditional territory of lovers with 'flowers' and 'wine' replaced by alternatives such as unlikely romantic location of 'a grass ditch'. Simplicity and perfection to 'the whole of the summer sky', image rich in meaning, visual feast of loving couple lying down and looking up, enjoying 'Midas light' - mythical King whose touch turned things to gold.
Time important consideration to lovers. 'For thousands of seconds we kiss' offers idea of excess, limitation of available time measured in seconds. Precise measurement shows how precious time is to speaker, 'treasure' to be carefully counted.
Pleasures and riches gathered by couple allows them to feel frozen in time. Hour spent gives them sense of power, making them feel they can bribe darkness to hold back, giving lovers immense joy and wealth.
Contrast between images traditionally associated with wealth and romance and the ordinary. Emphasises romance of lovers' time together, traditional ideas shown to be unimportant compared to personal experience of two characters.
Frequent references to images of light in contrast to night and darkness of inevitable separation. Light used to suggest positivity, warmth and optimism, rather than dwelling on darkness of separation, make most of the time they have together.
Final stanza 'now' single word sentence - simple like lover's situation, but strong sense of completion, nothing more needed. Celebrates moment rather than dwell on future or past.
Attitudes, Themes and Ideas
Traditional battle of love versus time boldly presented 'Time hates Love'. Poem questions assumption that time triumphs, forcing separation. Duffy alludes to Rumplestiltskin's ability to transform straw to gold, reference adds magical feel, image summing up key theme - love can find richness in anything.
Poem about enjoying intimacy of a moment in time rather than thinking beyond. Simple nature of experience is reminder that material possessions cannot replace something as magical and powerful as time spent with loved one.
Opening words 'Love's Time's beggar' echo Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 also exploring relationship between love and passage of time.
Like Hour, Sonnet 116 makes reference to the idea of the battle between love and time, as does To His Coy Mistress.
To His Coy Mistress about value of being in present and enjoying the moment, rather than think ahead, same key theme as Hour.
Like Hour, In Paris With You rejects traditional ideas associated with love.