English Literature: Carol Ann Duffy Dream of a Lost Friend

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What does the title of the poem suggest?
That the persona can't confront her problem
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"You were dead, but we met, dreaming"
Confusion of tenses, caesura - the end for friend gives pause for thought.
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"A public building"
Possibly a hospital
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"An AIDS poster. Your white lips. Help me."
Possibly 1980's/1990's? - clues of reason for death - AIDS, deathly image shows desperation, the pauses show the break down of person.
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"We embraced, standing in a long corridor"
Metaphor - a long way away.
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"...which harboured a fierce pain neither of us felt yet"
'fierce pain' showing loss of grief
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"The words you spoke were frenzied prayers to Chemistry: or you laughed"
Hoping for a medical discovery, desperate and cherishing moments. Juxtaposition of religion 'prayers' and science 'chemistry'
7 of 24
"A child-man's laugh"
Oxymoron
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"Innocent, hysterical"
Undeserving of death
9 of 24
"Out of your skull"
Deathly image, drug taking
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"It's only a dream, I heard myself saying, only a bad dream"
Denial
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"Some of our best friends nurture a virus"
Possibly gay people - considered suspectible in this time, they might not know they have it, or hiding from it, carrying on.
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"A virus, an idle, charmed, purposeful enemy, and it dreams they are dead already"
Aids is being personified - showing the AIDS dream
13 of 24
"Over the crudités"
Crude, homophobic reference
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"The healthy imagine a time..."
Imagining a time if they are all ill but have a cure - holding on to good memories, there isn't a bright future.
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"Then, as I slept"
Troubled with dream
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"Offering a series of dates for lunch, waving"
Keeping up pretence, last time seen her, relieving last moments
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"I missed your funeral"
Happened very quickly, guilt, possible reason for being troubled
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"thumbs up, acting"
Putting on a brave face, ignoring terminal illness
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"I think of you almost hopeful in a bad dream"
Juxtaposition, hoping just a bad dream not real OR bad dream isn't too bad - at least you can see them
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"Where you were long dead"
Reality
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What do the first two stanzas deal with?
Memory
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What does the confusion of placement of time represent? (Past, present and dream tense)
The personas feelings and confusion
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"Where there's life..."
End of quote should say "there's hope" but this is missing which shows the hope is rejected and abandoned - no hope.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

"You were dead, but we met, dreaming"

Back

Confusion of tenses, caesura - the end for friend gives pause for thought.

Card 3

Front

"A public building"

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

"An AIDS poster. Your white lips. Help me."

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

"We embraced, standing in a long corridor"

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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