Stealing - Carol Ann Duffy


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Attitudes, Ideas, Feelings of Speaker

Poet is sympathising with the speaker - trying to understand the speaker.

There is an obvious parallel between the snowman and the speaker - this is underlined by the speaker when they talk as if the snow man is inside them.
"Ice within my own brain" - Line 5

Sound - The poem replicates natural speech so that we can 'hear' the voice of the speaker talking to us.

Tone - Agressive, sad, asking for help.

The poet's admiration of the snowman is the closest he comes to affection, but he cares more for this inatimate object than the living human children who have made it.

The speaker is pathetic, as he seems anxious to make a mark of some kind. He casually mentions how he might “pinch” a camera - it is worth little to him, but much to those whose memories it has recorded.

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Poet's Messages/ Meanings

Smashes the snowman up - his/her self destructive behaviour.

The thief is morally confused - he sees “not taking what you want” as “giving in”, as if you might as well be dead as accept conventional morality.

He alienates us by saying that he enjoyed taking the snowman because he knew that the theft would upset the children. “Life's tough” is said as if to justify this.

All he is left with is “lumps of snow”. This could almost be a metaphor for the self-defeating nature of his thefts.

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Language and Poetic Devices

The poem is 'I' but it's not the poet herself - A mysterious voice.

They are responding to the questions: 'The most unusual thing I stole?'
Asks the reader to respond - We feel directly involved.

Speaker glamourises themselves and what they have done. Seems to be speaking from a script. - "I sigh like this - Aah."

Language - Violent and destructive which shocks the reader. Emphasises the lack of order in this persons life. - "The slice of ice within my own brain."
"My breath ripped out in rags."

Cental image - The snowman alone in a empty yard at night. "... beneath the winter moon ..." Impacts poem with the parallel between the two.


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Language and Poetic Devices

Irony: Stealing the “bust of Shakespeare” The thief takes an image of perhaps the greatest creative talent the world has ever seen - but without any sense of what it stands for, or of the riches of Shakespeare's drama.

This poem is colloquial (relating to conversation; conversational.)

Ppeaker uses striking images - “a mucky ghost"

Clichés - “Life's tough”

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a thankful heart is always close to the riches of the universe - thank you very much

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