English Literature: Carol Ann Duffy - Before You Were Mine

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What is the poem about?
Duffy is writing/admiring her mother. Thinking of her mum before Duffy was born.
1 of 15
"I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on"
Duffy was ten years away from being born
2 of 15
"with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff"
Names portray the 1950's/1960's
3 of 15
"Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs, Marilyn"
Duffy's mum and friend trying to recreate the situation, also symbolises the 50's/60's. It represents the sexuality of Duffy's mother.
4 of 15
"I'm not here yet. The thought of me doesn't occur"
Duffy wasn't even considered at this time.
5 of 15
"In the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy, movie tomorrow"
Ballroom - meet their partner. 'thousand eyes' metaphor - disco ball or literal - people staring at her because she's glamourous 'fizzy' bubbly mood/butterflies
6 of 15
"Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close with a hiding for the late one"
Repetition of title, she's envious of Ma's relationship, suggests that Ma met somebody and got in trouble, but worth it.
7 of 15
"The decade ahead"
Duffy now been born
8 of 15
"My loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?"
Links to the title - resentful to Duffy, controlled
9 of 15
"I remember my hands"
Suggests autobiographical
10 of 15
"In those high-heeled red shoes, relics"
An old object from the past
11 of 15
"Ghost Clatters"
Oxymoron - a ghost flows, also the word 'clutters' suggests people always know Duffy's mums presence.
12 of 15
"whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?"
Healthy and happy representation. Love bite = good time
13 of 15
"where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine"
Repetition of title
14 of 15
"You'd teach me the steps on the way home from mass, stamping stars from the wrong pavement"
Rebellious even after had a child, brought up in an unfortunate background
15 of 15

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

"I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh on"

Back

Duffy was ten years away from being born

Card 3

Front

"with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff"

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

"Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs, Marilyn"

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

"I'm not here yet. The thought of me doesn't occur"

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

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