Before You Were Mine - Carol Ann Duffy

Before You Were Mine - Carol Ann Duffy - 1993
Speaker: The daughter (Duffy). Addressed to: Her mother. About: The poem is autobiographical - Duffy idolises her Mother and longs to see her Mother who was once 'bold' 'glamorous' and rebellious
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'You'r polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.'
The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?'
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'I remember my hands in those high-heeled red shoes, relics/ and now your ghost clatters toward me over George Square'
Links: Eden Rock, Follower, Walking Away and Mother Any Distance
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The poem 'Before You Were Mine' is structured like a photo album, it perhaps reflects the daughter looking at photos of her mother
She is nostalgic about her Mother's past admiring the 'polka dot dress' she wears. The allusion to Marilyn Monroe conveys how she sees her mother as glamorous, free and liberated.
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She imagines her mother optimistic about her future metaphorically presented through a 'fizzy movie tomorrows'.
The child worries she has been a burden to the mother, shown through the use of the rhetorical question 'the decade ahead of my loud possessive yell was the best one, eh?'
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The 'red high-heeled' shoes that are now 'relics' symbolise her Mother's promiscous youthful past which has now been replaced with being a mother. Further reinforced by the 'ghost' of her mother's youthful self.
The child at the end of thepoem longs for the glamorous mother of the past and seems to feel guilty for stopping hermother be young free.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?'

Back

'You'r polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.'

Card 3

Front

Links: Eden Rock, Follower, Walking Away and Mother Any Distance

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

She is nostalgic about her Mother's past admiring the 'polka dot dress' she wears. The allusion to Marilyn Monroe conveys how she sees her mother as glamorous, free and liberated.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The child worries she has been a burden to the mother, shown through the use of the rhetorical question 'the decade ahead of my loud possessive yell was the best one, eh?'

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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